The birds and the bees

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 17:55
ThreadID: 30143 Views:1835 Replies:13 FollowUps:14
This Thread has been Archived
My house backs on to a large bush reserve (Victoria) and for a couple of years now I've had a bird bath near the cyclone fence which separates the reserve and me.

Few things have given me such pleasure.

My bird identification skills are not good but the variety and antics of the birds which come into it are manifold. There are _tiny_ little birds which can fly through the 50mm gaps in the fence without hesitation. There are doves which, although not the brightest :) are so gentle and relaxed and surprisingly (to me) there are bees – loads of them in the warm weather – but they never attempt to sting me when I upset them by topping up the water or cleaning the bath.

My bird bath is fired clay about 24 inches diameter and 50mm deep, it sits on a steel frame 2 feet off the ground. If you are interested in nature I cannot recommend one highly enough.

Mike Harding

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 18:39

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 18:39
obviously, you dont own a cat

you need to buy the bird ID book from EO to be able to identify your birds..

.....beware its contagious....dont forget that the bird watchers group or whatever it is..name escapes me for now..had an ale or two...ok five or six.....has taken over Glue Pot Station??? i think thats the one? in SA north east...just out side Burra
AnswerID: 151130

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 19:16

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 19:16
Birds Australia

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

0
FollowupID: 404718

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 18:48

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 18:48
Strange, Strange, Strange as it may seem, you and I have much in common....LOL

We live on a half acre town block in country SA. A pretty dry place surrounded by open wheatfields, grazing lands and few trees.

Over the past six years(since arriving here) we have created a Mediterranean style garden with 3 fishponds, 4 fountains, a bird bath, and a hothouse, amongst other things. We have also established 4 sitting areas such as vineyard alcove, secret garden, late afternoon hideaway and general patio area covered by a large shade cover. We virtually live outside. Our neighbour on the north side has also large garden with trees and neighbour on south side has rubbish, car wrecks, 3 dogs and 5 cats(there were 6). Neighbour behind us on other side of laneway has 22 dead Holdens in his yard, 2 dogs and 2 cats and 1 tree(come to think of it the tree is actually in the street)

Still, in this environment we have been able to build a garden from scratch and attract a family of wattlebirds, white-naped honeyeaters, a family of blackbirds, crested pigeons, migrating starlings and the ever present European sparrows who raise their families under the eaves of our house. Flocks of galahs settle on our hard shell Almond trees every morning and in late winter the Port Lincoln parrots come by for a feed. We have a variety of herbs growing in the garden and including lots of lavender and rosemary bushes. These are very popular with the bees which annoy the dog intensely. The bees don't sting us but the dog gets the occasional tinge when confronting the bees.

During summer the garden and vegie patch has to be watered but in winter it is pretty much self maintained.

A little paradise in this arid region.

Cheers
AnswerID: 151131

Follow Up By: V8 Troopie - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 02:21

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 02:21
Willem, I sincerely hope you do not encourage these starlings and European sparrows in any way. They are a destructive introduced species and really have no place here amongst the native birds.
So far we here in WA are free of these pests and I hope it stays that way.
Klaus
0
FollowupID: 404813

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 08:10

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 08:10
my thoughts too V8.....he needs an air-rifle
0
FollowupID: 404823

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 08:46

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 08:46
Klaus

The worst introduced species to this country was the white man and little has changed.

Yes the sparrows are pests but unless we invent a deterrent or introduced predator (hmm maybe like the Cane Toad?) there is little to do. Birds are free spirits and move where they want to.
Did you know that the Kookaburra was introduced to WA?

Nudie No 1...can I borrow your air rifle. I checked out one at $225 not so long ago but decided to buy bird netting instead.
0
FollowupID: 404835

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 10:42

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 10:42
Air rifle isnt much challange. I honed my pistol shooting skills as a young un on sparrows. It is one thing i miss in WA picking of small birds nearly all birds are native here except for 2 species (indian minor and pidgeon) and sort of the kookaburra that thrives in the Porongarup NP as Willem has pointed out. My yard is not too big but has a population of silvereyes and weebills as well as common visits by Honeyeaters and peewees (murrey magpies) and mickey miners
0
FollowupID: 404852

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:29

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:29
What happened to the other cat?
.
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history
.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

0
FollowupID: 405051

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:31

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:31
Honeyeater and a Mickey Miner, hmmm sounds like me......
.
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history
.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

0
FollowupID: 405053

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:39

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:39
the other cat? u wouldnt want to have a guess would you Bonz?
0
FollowupID: 405054

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:40

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:40
Davoe....you aint allowed to hunt with a pistol hehehe
0
FollowupID: 405056

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:40

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:40
errrr drowned in a bird bath?
.
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history
.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

0
FollowupID: 405057

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:42

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:42
wrong...hahaha
0
FollowupID: 405059

Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 18:54

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 18:54
goodday mike
it is great to be able to do these small things i have 2 books in the van for our trips and if nothing else i photo the bird and try to identify later
i hope its not a dse controlled reserve
i live at lynbrook we have a small lake with quite a variety of birds 2 years ago i was keeping an eye on apair of nesting parrots and on there xmas carol night they also had a fireworks display next day the pair were gone??????peed me right off

steve
AnswerID: 151133

Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 20:01

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 20:01
While stuck in the rain on the GJR, one of my few visitors was a crow who hopped onto my bonnet. Man, that beak looks kinda naastee ! I proved that I was still alive by blowing the horn and that discouraged him.
I live in the Currumbin Valley in Qld. The birds that visit the tourists , visit me first. We are surrounded by birds of one kind or another. That's fine unless trying to sleep in past picinniny daylight. Visitors rekkon its noisier here than in the city :)) Bush turkys abound. We get wallabies, koalas, snakes , bluddy spiders , big lizards, and a few peacocks. Oh yes, lots of ants :(
A recent addition to the area is the nobrainus tyresmokinupus duckhead. One put the hammer down the other day going up my hill after rain, up onto my driveway, sideways across my front narrowly missing a tree and straightened up. I live in dread of the sound of the bang followed by smashing glass from the right angled 60k corner nearby. I've already pulled 3 live ones from that area.
Of all the creatures that visit, this species is the only one that I am fearful of and for.
AnswerID: 151146

Follow Up By: gramps - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 06:49

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 06:49
The NTD is a pretty widespread and abundant species. The female of the species is generally far more aggressive especially when seeking a roosting position.
0
FollowupID: 404815

Reply By: Member - Jack - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 20:20

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 20:20
I have to agree ...

I live on the NSW Central Coast, and have daily visits from lorikeets, rosellas, eastern rosellas, sulphur crested cockatoos, wattle birds, and I am currently hand feeding a pair of king parrots (because all the others chase them away from the small seed bin I have there).

Their collective antics are better than television.

Kookaburras wake me up around 5.30 am every day, which is much better than an alarm clock. Even had a black snake soaking up the sun just near my pool last week.

Last year a very large python took up residence in the tree about 5' away from my deck and was very happy there for a while. No idea where he is now. Christened him "Jack the Snake".

No need for a bird bath though .. I have a large swimming pool and they seem to all like that for a drink and a cleanup and preen.

Fascinating stuff this Mother nature caper.

Jack
The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 151152

Reply By: Michael B - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 21:49

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 21:49
Evening all,

Well done Mike and others.

What a refreshing post.

Bit like Willem we live in a similar area and in our own way do what we can to encourage local wildlife.

Shame there are not more likeminded people. Don't have to be extreme to enjoy the good things in life.

Nothing else to add.....

Michael B (SA)
AnswerID: 151190

Reply By: Member - Royce- Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 22:04

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 22:04
We have a bird bath just like yours. The birds sometimes visit..... but just above on the carport is a gutter that is sagging.... I must fix it sometime.

Daily and continuously birds are sitting up above the bird bath in their preferred bath splashing and entertaining.

I also recommend a hammock. On some of these hot days I've been lying back reading [or not] and at any time a wren or spinebill or silvereye will appear and sit on the cord near my foot.. meanwhile they fly through just above me. Great!

As well and almost as nice are the range of little skinks... three types that run and hunt over the decking.
AnswerID: 151194

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:41

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:41
you mean ole bugga...give them fresh water ....not stagnant, algae riddled water
0
FollowupID: 405058

Reply By: Shaker - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 22:51

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 22:51
Mike we also live on the edge of the bush, which we normally love, but with the fires now so close ..................

Anyway, we also have bird feeders & bird baths, we get dozens of King Parrots, Crimson Rosellas, Cockies, Galahs, Gang Gang Cockatoos, Satin Bower Birds & heaps of finches etc.
As you say it does give heaps of pleasure, particularly when a wild bird jumps on to your hand to feed. If we walk past the feeder which is beside the path to our front door, the birds don't even flinch. Who needs an aviary??
You mention that the bees leave you alone, you will find that bees & wasps react to your adrenaline, if you panic & swat at them, look out.
Sometimes in the high country there are 100's of European Wasps & we have never been stung yet. Correction, Sherman the Golden Retriever got stung on the nose, he now knows to live & let live!
AnswerID: 151201

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 10:04

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 10:04
Mike we used to have an accommodation sideline to our farm and one government employee came several time was accumulating a list of the birds round the farm. He had, and we added to a list of more than 50 different ones. That excluded the vermin types - sparrows, starlings and blackbirds too in the count.

Unfortunately the sparrows try to nest round the veranda, leaving deposits on the floor, the starlings and blackbirds try their luck in the garage. When my late father was in good form he used to load his own 12 gauge cartridges especially for the blackbirds, for the dispatch like your neighbours cat Willie.

Remember hearing one day when dad was dispatching a blackbird when the roar of the 12 bore also got the neighbours cows retreating from his cow yard just before the gate was closed. Dad was a popular guy that day.
Cheers,
Who?
John

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 151242

Reply By: Des Lexic - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 13:07

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 13:07
This has been one of the most refreshing posts that I have read for a while. Love Willies comment re the neighbours have 5 cats used to have 6. We also have a birdbath that attracts many birds to drink which is surprising that ony 75metres away is an extremely large bird bath. Yesterday as I walked past, a male superb wren took flight. I hadn't seen them at the birdbath before but they are regular visitors to the backyard. Was a great sight to see. We have a family of Willie Wagtails that nest nearby and so far they have raise 5 chicks this season in 3 different clutches. They crap everywhere but it washes off.
AnswerID: 151273

Follow Up By: gramps - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 13:11

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 13:11
Des,

Willie Wagtails have got to be about the most entertaining birdlife around. Always on the move, not afraid of anything. Have seen them drive crows away many times, not to mention dogs, cats, etc.
0
FollowupID: 404878

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 13:42

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 13:42
Just when you think its nice to have feral bees around someone comes and lets you know these intoduced little horrors are an envoronmental nightmare.
They take over and aggresively defend hollows in trees that would otherwise be used for nesting sites for parrots etc. They do not pollinate all natives correctly and their ability to forage in lower temperatures mean they not only start earlier and finish later in the day but also earlier and later in the seasons. This along with their prolific numbers means native Bees with their superior polinating habits get far less of a look in
AnswerID: 151276

Reply By: The Bigfella - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:16

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:16
I read the posts on this forum about 3 times a day and it is a wealth of knowledge. Have even met some forumites when in Victoria recently.
This post just makes one feel proud to be an Aussie. With all the "discussion" that goes on this forum it is great to read about the "Birds and the Bees!!!!!!".

I live in Bathurst and every time I mow the lawn there are 2 Pee Wees who follow me along eating insects, etc. I have nearly walked on them at times mowing the lawn. We also get Magpies, Galahs, Currawongs, Pidgeons to name a few. I back on to a reserve and every afternoon there would be hundreds of Galahs feeding on the ground.

Maybe I should put in a birdbath as I have a large block (quarter acre).

Cheers

The Bigfella
AnswerID: 151291

Reply By: Mike Harding - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:07

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:07
On a similar note I was gold prospecting in a remote gully in Gippsland about 6 months ago when I noticed a movement in the bush 20m or so away, I kept still and pretty soon a Superb Lyrebird emerged. It showed no fear of me and ambled in my direction until it was about 2m away and for the next 30 minutes proceeded to follow me at a distance of anything from 2m to 10m. This was _very_ remote and rough country only accessible on foot and I doubt anyone has been in there for 80 years or more. My bird book tells me this is very unusual behaviour for Lyrebirds who, it says, are normally quite shy and steer well clear of humans. I guess this one didn't know I was a human and thought it would hang around in case "this really big, but rather odd shaped bird with a vacuum cleaner" kicked up a few grubs from the forest floor :)

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 151303

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)