4 Bowerbird species feeding together

The Lilly-pillies along our creek (Syzygium smithii) are fruiting now, and they attract many birds. Not only were there flocks of King Parrots and Satin Bowerbirds feeding just metres from our house today, but in the same tree we also spotted a Tooth-billed Bowerbird, a juvenile Golden Bowerbird and 2 Spotted Catbirds. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Tooth-billed Bowerbird:

:

Spot the Spotted Catbird:

Catbird, hiding

 

Having a siesta:

Emerald Dove

Likewise, in a sunny spot:

Peaceful Doves

 

On the other side of the creek we could hear the dominant female cassowary walking around, calling occasionally. She has been around quite often recently, not so much interested in the Lilly-Pilly fruits (she prefers the fruits of Jungle Vine and native Ginger), but on the lookout for a mate.

Here she is following Dad and the chicks

but he isn’t interested, (yet) and actually chased her away (usually the male is wary of the larger female).

The chicks can benefit from his guidance for a bit longer…

 

 

 

Cassowary Central

It is this time of the year again, when fruit in the rainforest becomes scarcer, but the wet sclerophyll forest produces many smaller berries, likeĀ  Cissus grapes and Lilly Pillies, Mackinlaya and Acrotriche drupes.

Cassowaries frequent our forest almost daily in search of food and mates. May is usually the beginning of the mating season, and “Wattle”, the big female, has been hanging around lately, sometimes right outside our bedroom window, a disinterested bystander…

A few days ago, “Goldfinger”, the young male, with whom she mated last June, turned up at the same time, and ventured within 2 metres of her before becoming scared and running away.

Dad presented his 2 new chicks a couple of weeks ago. They are about 7 months old (he mated with Wattle in July) and are looking healthy and well-fed.

It is still difficult to tell them apart:

Their droppings look like a delicious dessert or off-colour pizza (to some). Brush-turkeys and pademelons like to pick through them.

 

Our male Victoria’s Riflebirds have been displaying daily (it is not really their breeding season, yet!). Another strange, and out of season observation: a female Scarlet Honeyeater collected nesting material.

Butterflies

Late summer/ early autumn is an excellent time for butterflies. A visit to the small Lantana patch near the road on a sunny day yielded more than a dozen species within half an hour.

From the large Monarch,

Blue Tiger,

Lemon Migrant (lots of them!),

and Blue-banded Eggfly

to the smaller Caper Gull,

Green-spotted Triangle,

Blue Argus

and even smaller Dusky Knight.

Several species of ‘Blues’ (family Lycaenidae) are tiny, like this Purple Cerulean (wingspan 23mm)

and the Small Green-banded Blue.

A few Regent Skippers are still around,
(female laying eggs)

but most are getting ready to pupate

(Regent Skipper larva).

Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroos

Mum and joey have been around frequently, feeding on a variety of plants, like Acacia melanoxylon, Wilkiea pubescens, Smilax australis, Syzygium oleosum and Bursaria spinosa.

The little one is now climbing quite confidently and often feeding a little away from her mother.

tree-kangaroo mum and joey
tree-kangaroo mum and joey

 

tree-kangaroo joey

tree-kangaroo joey

I started to write this blog in February. Now in mid-April, the joey has grown considerably, and on one day we saw it on its own. Most of the time it is still close to mum and cuddling up to her often.

tree-kangaroos April 2020

A “tough” day in the life of a male Superb Fruit-dove

Superb Fruit-dove

This male spent all day in one tree, about 5 metres from our veranda. Feeding, sunbathing, preening, snoozing, feeding, snoozing, feeding, pooping,…

Superb Fruit-dove male

Superb Fruit-dove

Superb-Fruit-dove

I had a lazy day, too, watching him for hours. He was briefly joined by a Golden Bowerbird (sorry, no acceptable photograph) and some Satin Bowerbirds.

Who says that birdwatching is supposed to be hard?! And imagine, what great photographs someone with a better camera than my little Canon SX70 could take!

Over the last few days a lot more of the Symplocos fruit have ripened, the birds are spoilt for choice.

This male might have already finished breeding, there are a few juvenile doves around. Another male is sharing incubating duties with his mate in a nest nearby. He is sitting tight from about 9 am to 4.30pm. The female has the longer night shift.

There are doves calling almost all day long, it is difficult to estimate how many are here now. They should have plenty of fruits for another month.