Wednesday, 21 August 2013

For the birds

Missy's Bird Cafe is open for business. We've haven't put out food in the bird feeder lately. There's been no need to. The trees are providing more than enough food for the local bird population.

Seeds from the palm trees and nectar from blossoms are the most popular items on the menu. The cafe opens from dawn to dusk and patrons come and go all day. As well as our regular visitors we have had a few new ones. Please excuse the poor photography. Without a telephoto lens I had to rely on patience and stealth to photograph the visitors. I've tried to identfy everyone with the help of the Birds in Backyard website but could be mistaken.

 Mr Currawong and his friends were spotted enjoying a feast.
They became quite roudy at times and the management were concerned they may frighten the other guests. They have been known to prey on smaller birds according to some sources.

Miss Wattlebird ate a selection of fruit from the palm tree buffet before choosing a dessert of flower nectar.

This is one of the Honeyeater family I think.

He tried the palm berries but seemed to prefer the calliandra nectar. The small birds love the calliandras - not only food but protection and shelter as well.

There seems to be a few different honeyeaters visiting at the moment. They are all tiny timid and flighty so hard to photograph. They can be noisy though, calling and chatting to each other.
It's exciting to hear a new call, then try to find which bird is making the sound.

A Brown Honeyeater not much bigger than the flower it's feasting on

This seems to be a different honeyeater - It has more white on its body and a greenish tinge to the wings.
I must apologise for the photography again too. I'd never make it as a paparazzi .  I just put the camera on full zoom to get as close as possible and hope that the little square on the screen means it is in focus, then I crop the shot.  I know the result is not great photography but if I try to get too close they fly away.

There are a few different small birds that are Honeyeater shape but with different markings and colour.
A quote from Birds in Backyards - "The White-naped Honeyeater is similar in size and shape to the White-throated Honeyeater, Melithreptus albogularis, which lacks the orange eye crescent and has more white on the throat that reaches the bottom of the bill. Other similar species include the Black-chinned Honeyeater Melithreptus gularis and the Brown-headed Honeyeater, Melithreptus brevirostris, which both also lack the orange around the eye, along with other differences."
No wonder I can't tell which is which.

Only one visitor has been chased away. I heard a ruckus one day and went outside to find Mr Hawk checking out the other patrons, so he was asked to dine elsewhere. I didn't even try to get a photo just shooed him away. He may have been beautiful, but bird is not on the menu in Missy's Bird Cafe.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Getting back to normal

It's time to get back to blogging and catch up on what's been happening with my friends in the bloggisphere.

The doctor said John's surgery went well and he's been making a steady recovery. It's time for me to go back to work tomorrow and for life to get back to as close to normal as possible. The two weeks I had off work have flown by - admittedly the first few days were spent more at the hospital than at home. I had planned to catch up on lots of the cleaning and organising that I never seem to get to when I'm working and do lots of gardening. Well, I did some.....

It's been nice to just spend time at home with John and Missy - no rush or pressure. I've had a taste of what retirement would be like and I think I'm going to love it.

  The garden is looking surprisingly good considering (thanks to my son).

Winter here means chilly mornings then beautiful sunny days. During Winter I usually don't see much of the garden. I leave early and by the time I'm home it's dark. Having time to sit and soak in the sunshine and just watch the garden grow has been a real luxury. John may have been the patient, but Missy and I sat around relaxing nearly as much.


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