Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Balmy Days in Robertson

The last few days at Robertson have been truly balmy.
And they have been heavenly days for the local birds. 

The Brown Cuckoo-Doves have been around and calling.
This afternoon, one was drinking 
from the roof of the Shipping Container 
which we are using as a storage shed. 
Brown Cuckoo-Dove on powerline at George's place
Silvereyes were busy looking for Aphids 
amongst the dense shrubbery below the house.
Aphids under leaves of a Camellia
 A male Golden Whistler perched boldly in an Acacia mearnsii 
lower down the yard. 
Here is a previous photo - not great, 
but it shows the colour well enough.
Golden Whistler - male
A Shining Bronze-Cuckoo called prominently 
for about 15 minutes at mid-morning. 
We even saw the bird clearly for a few moments. 
A rare clear viewing for these normally secretive birds
(at least hard to see in a rainforest habitat).

The Black Cockies have been around for the last few weeks, 
and the youngsters keep up their incessant nagging squarks.
As Brendan says, its something only a parent could love
(and even then, its pretty hard to put up with, surely?)
2 Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos flying from a Pine Tree
I mentioned that the insects have been around in masses, 
as you might have noticed from the aphid photo.
This one was a big surprise. 
Brendan found it underneath a piece of plywood, under the house.
This is a King Cricket.
I have only seen one once before, in a rotted log up on Knights Hill.
So it was a surprise to find it under my house.
They seem to like dark, moist places to hang out in.
King Cricket - note the spurred legs, and large body.
After a full day "on duty" Lena decided she needed a rest.
Lena - asleep in the afternoon sun
Who am I to tell her she hadn't been working THAT hard?


mick said...

All those birds around sound great but I think I would have been chasing them with the camera and not helping with the building! The cricket is interesting. I've never seen anything like it before. What does it eat?

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
I think it might have eaten my finger if I had been careless.
It was roughly the size of a small Yabbie.
I have heard that if disturbed they will emit a strong smelling liquid, as a defence.
Just the military armour it was wearing was enough of a warning for me.
I have heard of one eating a Funnel-web Spider, so I assume that they are "insectivorous" (is Spideriferous a word?). (Maybe arachnivorous?)
I'll stop now.