Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Third day of fog and drizzle in Robbo.

I go stir crazy after three days of conditions like these.

The bush is dripping wet, the birds are nearly invisible, and I refuse to go looking in the wet leaf litter for Orchids.
I went and visited Andy and Anni this afternoon, which was lovely. Nice company, and the tail end of Christmas goodies, including Anni's own Dill-cured Salmon, and some of Andy's home-made Pate, served with a pickle, and Lingonberry sauce. That is a traditional Finnish touch, apparently. Very refreshing indeed.

I had started the day early, shortly after sunlight started to peer through the fog.
Fog and Mist 6:58 am (3rd day of Fog)
I decided to put out a Pear, for any "early birds". They were around, but I missed seeing them. Judging by how fast the first half of the pear disappeared, I assume the early visitors were Bowerbirds, or Currawongs.

Small and medium birds waiting their turn.
A Little Wattlebird (low down)
and a Lewin's Honeyeater (up high)
When next I checked, the fog had cleared somewhat - visibility rated at about 300 metres (maybe).
11:34 am - close to midday.A series of Little Wattlebirds (Anthochaera chrysoptera) came to peck surreptitiously at the fruit.

If you look closely, under the apple there is a pool of juice.
It took me a while to work out what this bird was doing.
But of course, it was lapping up the juice
with its specialised nectar-feeding tongue.
Then a female Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) came in to finish its share of the meal.
The fog had moved back in on us, later in the afternoon.
Fog and mist at 5:34 pm.
Visibilty reduced to 100 metres again.
And then a Lewin's Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii)
came back in for a last peck.
Summer? It hardly seems like it.

Unfortunately, the two rainfall reporting stations in Robertson are both "off-line" from the Bureau of Meteorology's rainfall reporting system. I will report this to them on Tuesday, the next scheduled working day. I know they are busty with flood warnings at present, elsewhere in the State.


mick said...

The fog looks beautiful! but I guess you can have too much of it. I'm glad that you took photos for the rest of us to enjoy - without actually being there in it for 3 days!! Fascinating photo of the Little Wattlebird sipping up the juice from the apple, and very nice photos of the Lewins and S.Bowerbird.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick.
Glad you enjoyed the antics of the birds, especially the Wattlebird.
Fog still with us for a 4th day.
Sick of it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Denis, I think I recognize the symptoms of 'cabin fever'!! Great photos especially the wattlebird sipping the apple juice. Its fun watching the birds at home when the weather is not suitable for excursions ........ Like Mick I also appreciate your photos.

Although we've had some welcome rain to water some of our newly planted native grasses, it has been mostly at night. The last couple of days have been fine with some sunny periods so needless to say the humidity is extreme. We're not overly exerting ourselves especially in the middle of the day.


Gaye from the Hunter said...

Hello Denis,

the crafty wattle bird with its head under the apple produced a chuckle - thank you.

We have also had three days of wet weather - not fog, but drizzle and showers. I have been able to get out, thankfully, and today I had the most wonderful time observing waders at Stockton - hundreds of them, and so many species. It really was amazing.

I guess I looked a sight sitting on my stool by the sandflats in the Hunter River estuary sheltered by my big umbrella, but it sure beats days on end locked up indoors.

I hope the weather clears for you to get back discovering more orchids to share with us.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Barbara and Gaye.
Thanks to both of you.
I know it is silly of me to complain about being shut in by bad weather, when Barbara and Allen at "Swampy Things" are susceptible to the occasional real cyclone, and Gaye in the Hunter can get huge floods.
Anyway, still foggy today, but I did get out to an area just below the fog today, which was nice.
I look forward to reading about your waders, Gaye.