Tag Archives: adelaaide rosella

Brownhill Creek’s Koalas and Bird Life

22 Jan

Dear Reader:

The scrub is quite thick along the river bank and I can hear the movements of small animals against the background sigh of the wind through the towering eucalypts. Lizards, perhaps small mammals but more likely wrens, finches and other little birds are foraging in the undergrowth. Finally, a diminutive female blue wren emerges from the cover to search for seeds in a clearing. The opportunity to take a quick shot is momentary.

 

Female blue wren

Common garden skink

 

Brownhill Creek is one of several waterways that drain the south eastern aspect of the Mount Lofty Ranges. It has shallow pools that retain water in the hotter months and flows freely in the cooler ones. There is thick undergrowth along the creek bed that ranges into open scrubland on the surrounding hillsides. A paved road follows the creek eastward with numerous sidings that enable access to the water along narrow dirt tracks.

 

koala

 

I stop in one of the lay-bys where there is a significant clearing surrounded by several eucalypts. Using the long lens I scan the forks in the canopy for koalas. The bear-like marsupials eat a range of gum leaves and these trees look to be one of the preferred species. Luck is with me as I spot a large male using its double-thumbed prehensile grip to move along a branch.

Silvereye

 

Adelaide rosella

Ravens

 

Further along the road a small bridge crosses the creek and there is a large stand of eucalyptus and evergreen trees spreading both limbs and branches across the creek. A wide variety of birds are feeding on blossoms, fruit and insects. I manage to photograph silver-eyes, Adelaide rosellas and a pair of raucous ravens.

Laughing kookaburra

 

Dragonfly species

 

My drive along Brownhill creek has been quite exceptional and I decide to make one last foray down to the creek near the caravan park.  I can hear a kookaburra calling and some flowering plants along the creek seem to be attracting both butterflies and dragonflies. With a little luck I might just capture a few more images to complete my creek-side safari.

 

Cheers

Baz

 

Additional notes

This is an easy drive but the tracks along the creek are more difficult.

 I have recently spent time in Africa and the link below will allow you to enjoy images and text describing some of my encounters with the wonderful wildlife of Botswana and Zambia. I will attach a new image and notes to accompany each post. The link does not work well on mobile phones and is best followed through a computer or tablet.

https://silkstone627.wixsite.com/mysite

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Adelaide’s Parkland Rosellas

4 May

Dear Reader Adelaide’s CBD is surrounded by parklands. They are a place for workers to enjoy during a lunch break or cyclists and joggers to traverse on the daily commute. They set the tone for the city and also provide a natural backdrop to the everyday business of the state’s vibrant capital. They were conceived by the city’s founder and first governor Colonel Light and are still treasured and protected by those who live in the city and inner suburbs.

AA bike linear park

Bike riding through the parklands

The ecology of the parklands like the commerce of the city has its own rules and hierarchy. magpies and miner birds aggressively mark out and defend their territories, brushtail possums enjoy the nightlife and screeching rainbow lorikeets seem to know everyone’s business.

AB Noisy Miner feeding on a banksia bloom

Noisy miner feeding on a banksia bloom

One of my favourite animals in this urban ecosystem is the elegant and colourful eastern rosella. They are found throughout the Adelaide and Mount Lofty region and seem to have a preference for open woodland where they can find suitable nesting holes, preferably in old growth trees. There has been a pair raising their young in a white cedar in front of my home this year and when I go for an evening walk I can hear the young ones deep in the tree calling to the adults.

AC Male and Female Adelaide Rosellas feeding

Male and female eastern rosellas feeding

Adelaide rosellas are around 35 cms in length with females being slightly smaller with a faintly orange cast to their plumage and less defined markings. They create a nest up to a metre deep within a tree hollow. Both parents feed the young. Rosellas are mainly seed eaters and feed mainly on the ground.

AD Adelaide Rosella on parkland fencepost feeding on wild grain heads

Eastern rosella on parkland fencepost feeding on wild grain heads

For me, one of the attractions of rosellas is their is its truly unique South Australian connection.  Indeed one particular type, the Adelaide rosella,  only occurs within a few dozen kilometres of the city. It is actually a hybrid of the yellow rosella which inhabits the Murray River valley and the crimson rosella which is more prevalent in the south east of the state.

AE Social interaction between Adelaide Rosellas above nesting hole

Social interaction between eastern rosellas above nesting hole

If you walk through the parklands during the spring and summer months it is not difficult to observe these colourful rosellas exhibiting a full range of behaviours from feeding to nesting and mating.

AF Adelaide Rosella perched on nesting hole entrance

Eastern rosella perched on nesting hole entrance

Cheers Baz

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