Autumn birds in the garden

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Autumn birds in the garden
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 10:54:48 +1000
How timely were David Geering's thoughts about the changing season!

It doesn't matter what the date is on the calendar, there is a recognisable,
definable day when it becomes clear to a birder that, at least in one's own
garden, Autumn has arrived and Summer has gone. And for me in this part of
Queensland, it seems to have been the same day as it was for David a long
way south of here.

The specifics will be different, the particular birds which have started to
turn up, the ones that have moved on, or just the different habits of the
ones that are always here, but in our respective gardens maybe a thousand
kilometres apart, the same trend is picking up apace.

Yesterday was a marvellous Autumn day. Lots of activity from a host of
regulars, but with an extra level of busyness courtesy of an immaculately
smart and noisy Restless Flycatcher around the house all day, a glistening
and equally noisy Spangled Drongo, a brightly coloured Fan-tailed Cuckoo
sitting quietly in a tree close to the house, and a host of Rainbow
Bee-eaters describing chattering arcs over the creek. (The bee-eaters are
here all year, but they seem to get reinforcements in Autumn, maybe from
David's garden!).

It was all uplifting in just the same way that the first real day of Summer
is uplifting. Old friends turning up yet again and more than compensating
for the loss of the Koels and the Channel-billed Cuckoos - (Dollarbirds and
Sacred Kingfishers are still here).

Autumn in this garden isn't really less busy than Summer, just different. A
lot of our resident birds are just beginning to call and show themselves
more than they do in Summer - Striated Pardalotes are calling all day at
present, as are Brown Quail. A raucous party of Blue-faced Honeyeaters lit
up the garden yesterday, with colour and noise, White-throated Honeyeaters
did the same thing on a smaller scale, White-throated Gerygones and Yellow
Thornbills are active higher in the trees, as are visiting parties of Varied

Meanwhile, Azure Kingfishers, lorikeets, fairy-wrens, rosellas and all the
regulars carry on as usual. Our March species list for the garden is usually
in the upper 90s. (The all-up garden list stands at 193, but the highest
monthly count is 111).

So, all in all, today, I think March is my favourite month!

But I guess I feel the same way as most people do about their own patch. I
know I like October just as much. Though June brings us the robins. And
November's pretty good, and August.  And January, and so on, and so on.....

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

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