Tag Archives: miner birds

Cobbler Creek…Love is in the Air

29 Jan

Cobbler Creek…Love is in the Air

Dear Reader:

The two noisy miner birds have been flying backwards and forwards through the box gums for the last ten minutes. Eventually the male sees his chance and lands on the branch next to the female. She chirps a half hearted protest or perhaps encouragement and he seizes the moment. Mating takes just a few seconds and they go back to their previous pattern of fly and follow.

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Miner 1

 

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Miner birds 2

 

I am watching the birds and their courtship antics in the Cobbler Creek Recreation Park; an area of open-woodland, near the end of Bridge Road in Salisbury East. Cobbler Creek stretches up into Tea Tree Gully where it can be easily accessed from Atlantis Avenue which joins the two branches of the Golden Way. Dropping in at the Tea Tree Gully shopping mall to collect some food then exploring the creek after picnicking on the grassed area, where Atlantis joins ‘The Way’ near Spring Hill, is a nice option.

2 mallee box gums

Salisbury East entrance

 

 

After spending a little more time watching the bird life at the western end of the creek I take a short drive up to Spring Hill in TTG. This part of the creek lies in a more urban setting where the waterway is dominated by huge red gums. There are numerous parrots in the trees and they too seem to be in a rather affectionate mood. For a while I focus on a pair of Rose Breasted Cockatoos (Galahs) which are quite intrigued by a tree hollow that has the makings of a future family home. Between real estate outings they preen themselves and each other as well as squawking and hopping between branches. Occasionally they hang upside down with wings flapping madly and crests erect.

4 off golden way past shopping centre

In Tea Tree Gully

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Galahs

 

But the Galah couple do not have the neighbourhood to themselves. An equally amorous pair of corellas is occupying an adjacent tree and they too seem to have spied the potential nest site. Not to be outdone by their Galah cousins they engage in some serious necking and cooing.

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Corellas

 

Yes, it seems that along Cobbler Creek; love is definitely in the air.

Cheers

Baz

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I Wonder What the Neighbours are Doing?

11 Sep

Dear Reader:

It is a cool, early spring afternoon. I can hear annoyingly cheerful birds singing in the white cedars that line my street but I am bored stupid. Home from work with a cold but certainly not sick enough to stay in bed. What to do? Going for a walk along the beach or up in the hills would be foolish and daytime television is just one step above poking my eyes with a sharp stick. Decision made! I shall stroll up to the main road, pick up a magazine and have a cup of coffee with an inordinately unhealthy pastry at one the cosy little cafés that are dotted along Prospect Road.

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A mudlark finds grubs in the gutter (click all images to enlarge)

 

 

I am halfway through the door when I stop and think that it might be worth taking the camera along, though the chance of seeing something unexpected on a quiet suburban street at midday; is not very likely. It turns out that I am quite mistaken and my two hundred metre walk to the main drag is filled with interesting moments.

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Rainbow lorikeet feeding on a late flowering gum

 

First encounter; a pair of rainbow lorikeets are alternately feeding on a late flowering gum and taking turns to performs some trade-like renovations on a hollow branch in a nearby cedar. One of the parrots uses its powerful, curved beak to scour the edge of the entrance while the other pops in out and removing old bits of nest lining. They seem quite oblivious to my presence and allow me to get quite close.

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Rainbow lorikeets house hunting

 

I leave the rainbows to their reno-project and move further up the street. A Murray magpie is sorting its way through the leaf litter and other detritus deposited in the gutters by recent rains. Every so often it stops, cocks its head to one side and gulps down a worm or bug. Ironically, there is a classic white backed magpie sitting on the power line above watching its little namesake. Despite their titles, the two species are unrelated and it is only their colouring that encouraged early settlers to name the birds after the black and white European magpies. Although it is a large imposing bird this particular magpie has a serious handicap which is revealed when I take a look at its magnified image on the viewfinder. The powerful beak has been badly damaged making both feeding and defence a ‘tough ask’.

A busted beak makes life on the streets tough

A busted beak makes life on the streets tough

 

Even the cafe has its wildlife component as a squadron of New Holland honeyeaters perched in a courtyard tree argue over territory with the ever present miner birds and several sparrows and pigeons patrol beneath the tables in search of crumbs. But the standouts are still the rainbows and their nesting antics, which simply confirmed an unwritten rule that every wildlife photographer knows; take your camera, something will almost always surprise you.

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Juvenile miner bird watching out for new Holland honeyeaters

 

Until our next chat

Baz

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