Birds of Gloucester NSW

To: "" <>
Subject: Birds of Gloucester NSW
From: Penny Brockman <>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 20:23:59 +1000
Dear Birders

The birds in and around my garden are in full breeding action, not that I have any nests actually in my garden as the new trees and shrubs are still far too young and sparse to invite them. But from the constant activity, chasing off possible predators or food rivals, and catching insects and taking nectar, several have kids at home. The Pee Wees have fledged 3 young, all sitting hopefully in a neighbour's gum tree. Yesterday we had a violent storm but they survived that, and today when the wind came up and rain threatened (but didn't fall) they moved to a lower, less windy branch. The Red Wattlebirds keep most other species away with a lot of chasing - they don't succeed with the Noisy Friarbirds who just avoid the action but stay around, still doing a lot of what I assume is courtship, chasing in pairs. So many species are singing throughout the day, Silvereyes, Rufous Whistlers, Yellow Robins, Scarlet Honeyeaters, White-throated Gerygones, Pied Butcherbirds, Magpies and those flying rats the Indian Mynas. The resident male Satin Bowerbird keeps up a constant growling and wheezing as he patrols his bower, and then pursues reluctant females up into the gum trees next door, dancing and almost falling off the branches in his tragic efforts to get the right response.

My mulberry tree is full of fruit and therefore full of Satin Bowerbirds and Figbirds that erupt when one walks underneath. Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos are around - 19 on Tuesday in one hit, but raptors have been absent from the skies overhead these last couple of weeks except for whistles from the Whistling Kites. A pair of Shining-bronze Cuckoos paid a very brief visit, quickly seen off by the Pee Wees and Wattlebirds, and today I surprised a male King Parrot almost under my deck eating the green seeds of a Hovea acutifolia.

Watching the Red Wattlebirds feeding in my garden, they exclusively use the native shrubs and trees and feed on the ground as well as at all levels above. There is a small Eremophila maculata presently covered in purple spotted tube-shaped flowers - a RWB yesterday carefully took nectar from almost every flower, methodically starting at ground level and then hopping up into the bush to reach the higher levels. It took an occasional sip from a grevillea flowering alongside but obviously preferred the eremophila.

The Magpie Wars are continuing, mainly outside on the grass verges and in the middle of the road. Two more young have recently been told to move but won't go, and one of the previous brood is still hanging around - even comes onto my deck and runs under a chair to avoid a furious property owner, presumably its parent. There's now quite a large flock that have decided to dominate one end of the street, thus reducing the size of the resident breeders' territory and causing all the mayhem and endless yodelling from first light to first street lights each evening.
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