I saw a pair of Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans) last weekend at Hill Top, 115 kms SW of Sydney. I’ve not seen any around North Sydney for quite a few years so I was very pleased to see them.
The pair had flown down to the ground to forage in a shady patch:
Last week a neighbour’s daughter needed help with her school assignment on native and non-native species in North Sydney. That led me to think about nativism – the protection of native species against introduced ones – and the whole business of native, domestic, and feral animals and plants.
Exotic flora and fauna are a big problem in Australia. The Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), for example, was introduced to the Sydney area around 1845 because English expats missed their foxhunting. Feral foxes now range over much of Australia. This one was on a farm in Boorowa.
Near where I recently saw these bees, I came across a Honey Bee and a Carpenter Bee near each other in a Silky Grevillea (Grevillea sericea). The weather was a fair bit cooler than the last time, but while the Honey Bee could move around comfortably in the 15.5°C temperature, the Carpenter Bee was clearly struggling.
After several weeks of successive Antarctic weather “blobs”, the weather seems finally to have turned. This last week we’ve have several cloudless days, with 22°C on Friday and 25°C today, making it an absolute delight to go for walks.
Yesterday, my Waverton walk began with a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo screeching overhead as it flew towards the city.
Last week’s wildflower photos included some blue-purple Hardenbergia flowers with a partially obscured solitary bee. That bee flew off before I could get another picture, so I went back later hoping to get another opportunity.
My first effort on a cool day was unsuccessful, but I had better luck on a warm (20°+C) sunny day. The patchwork of sunlight and shade meant that the bee was unevenly lit:
The weather has been pretty changeable lately, but over a week ago, I took my chances and went for an afternoon walk. The clouds were beginning to gather after a fine clear day, and looking up, I couldn’t see many birds.
Looking down, however, I could see lots of winter wildflowers. One was this Spider Grevillea (Grevillea speciosa):
Three weeks ago I posted several photos of Brush Turkeys on nests. Three days later, I put this photo on my Facebook Page, showing the male watching his hen of the day digging hard, with both turkeys completely unfazed by the schoolchildren walking past.
But my recent focus has been on another turkey, the late starter in the Australian Catholic University. Four weeks ago he didn’t have a nest, but some rapid sweeping of the soil and leaf litter around his chosen site soon gave him a respectable mound. Not long afterwards, he began to attract a few females. The first one I saw was about 7 a.m. July 30th:
Last week I wrote that I would keep the Chiltern Trail honeyeaters for another post, and here it is.
The first honeyeaters I saw on the walk were White-eared Honeyeaters (Nesoptilotis leucotis). Unfortunately they were all in separate trees, socially distancing from me as well as from each other, and this was as good a photo as I could get:
Ever since the first COVID lockdown, I’ve noticed a greater number of people walking my usual paths around North Sydney, often with a dog in tow. There’s also been a corresponding decrease in the number of birds—apart from those birds who don’t mind human proximity, such as Brush Turkeys! So as last Friday was forecast to be the last sunny day before a period of wet weather, I decided to go somewhere I hadn’t been to for a while – the Chiltern Trail at Ingleside. Bird-wise, it wasn’t a great success – a bit early in the season perhaps - but it was still a very pleasant visit.
Walking down the track, I heard Spotted Pardalotes (Pardalotus punctatus) calling from the surrounding trees, and eventually I saw a male low down on some bracken.
With an East Coast Low sitting over the Tasman Sea, last week’s weather was pretty cold, wet, and windy. I didn’t venture out much, but on Thursday when I was walking past North Sydney Demonstration School I came across this male turkey working on his nest :