Gloucester birds

To: Birding Aus <>, alan morris <>
Subject: Gloucester birds
From: Penny Brockman <>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2009 22:41:07 +1000

Yesterday 12 August, I saw a Buff-banded Rail in my back garden, on the edge of Gloucester town - the 125th species seen or heard from my house. It must have flown in during the night and was running up and down the back wood fence trying to find a way out.

What else has been happening nearby? The recent hot days and increased daylight has many bird carrying nesting material, from Yellow-rumped Thornbills building in my neighbour's callistemon, to Bar-shouldered Doves,White-headed and Crested Pigeons breaking off twigs and carrying them away to nearby trees. The host of green Satin Bower-birds, with one adult black male, raid my orange tree and have taken to standing on branches pecking into the fruit hanging in the tree, since I pick up all fallen fruit. The two small pools and bird bath bring in many species to bathe morning and mid afternoon, the regulars are Crimson and Eastern Rosellas, King Parrots, Magpies, Pee Wees, Yellow, Yellow-rumped and Brown Thornbills, White-browed Scrubwren, Grey Fantail, Superb Fairywrens, Red Wattlebirds, Kookaburras, Yellow-faced and Lewins Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills, White-headed and Crested pigeons, Spotted Turtle- and Bar-shouldered doves, the aforesaid Satin Bowerbirds, an occasional Figbird, Grey Shrike-thrush, Olive-backed Oriole, Pied Currawong and Pied Butcherbird, once a Collared Sparrowhawk, and in summer, Sacred Kingfishers. It is hard to get down to any work when there is such a floor show continuing throughout the day. Drawbacks are the attacks on newly planted lettuce, stripping yellow flowers off a newly planted grevillea (made attractive presents for the female bowerbirds), and a continuing supply of privet and camphor-laurel seedlings under favourite perches.

Birds that I have missed seeing recenlty are Drongos, usually I see one or two around town over the winter months. A few Restless Flycatchers have called, and a Rufous Whistler paid a visit 3 days ago; Golden Whistlers are still present and Bush Canaries (White-throated Gerygones) and Shining-broze Cuckoos are calling frantically.

In two weeks my garden will be opened to the local garden club when I have to give a talk to encourage locals to plant more natives so that they can also enjoy these riches. It is not only the delight of the birds that planting a mainly native garden brings but also, once established, no watering (except my small vegie patch) and very little grass mowing. Of course I am living in an area that has been blessed with a lot of rain since September 2008, and all our rivers are flowing well wiht dams full, not like about three quarters of the rest of NSW.

All for now

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