Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Getting back to normal, in Robertson.

It may be an illusion, but life in Robertson seems to be returning to normal.

The Aquifer issue has dropped off the radar. Peta Seaton does not seem to have sent out anything, yet, since the meeting last Saturday. Hopefully something will appear shortly. I have been doing a bit of homework, privately.

This morning I had a look at Anni's garden, which is looking great. Many of her plants are only about 18 months old, (since planting). Nearly everything was growing like crazy. Some of her original native plants - a few Bottlebrushes (Callistemon sp.) needed pruning back, to tidy them up. Some Sasanqua Camellias, just 18 months in the ground, warranted a bit of tip pruning, to encourage them to thicken up. But they are growing beautifully. Her Orange bush is looking fantastically healthy. Well done, Anni.

This afternoon, at my place, I had another group of small insectivorous birds stage a "raid" on the plants underneath my Study window. Brown Thornbills (Acanthiza pusilla) and Silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis) were the main species involved.

At the same time, a Grey Fantail (
Rhipidura fuliginosa) was giving a wonderful display of "loops" in the air above one of the small trees, while catching insects in mid-air. These are small birds, with large tails, and full, rounded wings, which equip them to be wonderful aerial acrobats, with all that surface area to give them "traction" against the air.

An example of Nature's design for control, not speed.


Anni said...

So is this a thornbill then, or something else? It is not a great photo, but those little things move so damn fast that it took me ages to even get this one.

Denis Wilson said...

Ah, Anni
Such a determined photographer, and you can insert Hotlinks in my comments section as well!
It is indeed a Thornbill, but not the common Brown Thornbill, a bird of the undergrowth. It is a Striated Thornbill, a bird of the tree tops.
The Eucalypt foliage in your photo tells us something. In fact it is not common in Robertson, because of our dominant rainforest trees, especially Sassafras.
The Striated Thornbill makes light, almost metallic-sounding twittering noises. The Brown Thornbill makes melodious noises, mostly. It has a surprisingly deep tone for such a small bird.