A few days ago to celebrate my recovery from a foot infection, I took a walk—an approved outing for socially distanced exercise, of course, where I just happened to be carrying a camera. This was also the week of the Autumn Wild Pollinator count so I wanted to make a couple of observations as well.
First stop was a Hibbertia plant where in the past I always saw bees. Now, alas, there were none. A Coastal Rosemary a few metres away was still half-dead from the drought, so again I saw no bees. Then I noticed another Hibbertia with just a few flowers on it, and yes! A bee! One bee after ten minutes of walking.
When I first saw this Blue-Banded Bee, she was grooming pollen granules out of her fur. Here, she is cleaning the underside of her left wing.
After that, she headed back to the flowers for more feeding and buzz pollination.
She was soon dusty enough to require further grooming. (For more on bee-grooming and buzz pollination see this old blog entry which includes video links):
Following another quick visit to the flowers, she was off elsewhere. I then walked on to another Hibbertia plant where I usually see lots of bees—but again, nothing. After that, I walked down the stairs and watched over a small Hibbertia scandens with three flowers on it. A minute later a loud buzz heralded the arrival of a Teddy Bear Bee. She briefly visited all three flowers before moving off again.
While I was waiting to see if anything else rolled up, several Pied Currawongs flew into the tree overhead. This rather dishevelled one was curious about what I was doing.
There were no further bees, so I headed off. On the return leg, a young Grey Butcher Bird plopped onto the ground with an insect in its beak—but by the time I took this picture, it had swallowed it!
Back in Bank Street, closer to home, I heard the chatter of Rainbow Lorikeets and Musk Lorikeets perched above me in a eucalypt. The Musk Lorikeets have only recently returned to North Sydney for the autumn blossoms, and there were a number of them in this tree. This one was stretching its wings before flying to another branch.
Most of the lorikeets were peacefully feeding from the flowers, but a couple of the Rainbows were harassing the smaller Musks. This was the closest I got to getting photographic evidence:
Most of the Musks were able to feed without much interruption, however.
And in typical nectar-and-pollen-gatherer style, they were happy to feed in any position:
I then returned home to eat my breakfast of melon and muesli in an upright position.
For the curious, there’s a little more about Musk Lorikeets here.