Tag Archives: spotted dove

Backyard Safari With My New Tamron Lens

5 Mar

Dear Reader:

There is little doubt that the South Australia has some fascinating and inspiring countryside from the rugged coastline of the south east to the wild expanses of outback in the north. However, it is often what is right under our noses that can prove most interesting. With that in mind I decided to try out my new Tamron 18-400 lens in the back yard.

 

Wattle Bird enjoys the trellis

 

Backyard

 

 

Spotted Doves are quite common in our suburb and each morning I spread out a handfuls of seed to encourage them. It is wonderful to watch their antics especially around mating time with the males bobbing and cooing to get the females’ attention. Over the years they have built their simple twig nests in our gum tree and raised several broods of young.

 

Spotted Doves

 

The Tamron lens is reputed to have quite good macro capabilities and with that in mind I spent some time fossicking for insects in the foliage and flowers of Daisy and Correa bushes. There were crickets, ladybugs and hoverflies in some numbers and I settled on an image of a hoverfly that had landed on a blossom to feed.

 

Hoverfly

 

Even though cats are generally a menace to wildlife I have a soft spot for them if controlled in urban areas. I have two and the Abyssinian is well past being a menace to anything as he is 16 years old an it is quite amusing to see the proverbial ‘cat amongst the pigeons/doves’.

 

Too old to worry about

 

Each day I leave an apple and two orange halves spiked to my trellis which attract a wide variety of birds from noisy Rainbow Lorikeets to delicate New Holland Honeyeaters. It is a pleasant enough task to sit quietly in the garden and photograph them feeding and squabbling over my offerings.

 

Apples for Lorikeet lunch

 

Even the humble lawn has its role once I have spread a little seed about for the Doves, Pigeons and occasional Mudlarks. And, after the sprinklers come on in the summer or there is good rain, the local Blackbirds forage for worms.

 

Just a glimpse

 

There a very few mammals in our suburb bar cats and dogs. We are too far from the hills for Koalas and possums are rare. But one late afternoon as I was sitting reading the paper (camera as always on the table) I watched a little Fruit Rat bound across the path. Not the most welcome of guests but for me it is always a treat to see something new in the garden.

 

Cheers

Baz

 

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A Walk from Tennyson to Grange

11 Aug

A Walk from Tennyson to Grange

 Dear Reader;

As I follow the narrow footpath south from the cul-de-sac overlooking Tennyson beach towards the Grange jetty in the distance, I can see a bird of prey hovering just above the houses that spill down to the dunes. The sky is patchy, blue then grey as clouds blow in from the sea and it is difficult to locate the kestrel in the viewfinder. I take a few quick shots and hope for the best.

1

Nankeen kestrel hovering

I am intrigued by the raptor and wait quietly close to a coastal wattle bush watching it patrol along the line of the dunes pausing periodically to hover and scan the terrain below for small animals. The birds in the surrounding scrub are not quite so keen. They head for cover deep in the bushes or under the eaves of the houses twittering their various warning calls.

2

Singing honeyeater in shelter

A lovely little singing honeyeater hides in a dense tangle of branches while spotted doves remain motionless closer to the ground near some dried scrub that matches their subdued colouring. Both species are usually very wary in this dune habitat and hard to approach but I am obviously the lesser of two evils and able to get closer than usual to capture some images.

3

Spooted dove

Continuing along the pathway, I am fascinated by the different architectural elements incorporated in many of the houses. There are domed chapel-like structures, facades of tinted glass and walls with pastel shades of ochre, pink and grey. Just before I reach the jetty the beautiful ‘Marines’ sit alongside the beach. This group of Victorian 3 story terraces was built in 1840 and they dominate the foreshore.

4

At the trail head near Tennyson Beach

 After a wonderful lunch at the Grange Hotel and a walk along the jetty to check out the fishers and look for dolphins, I turn back for home. The wind is getting up so I opt to walk back down the path rather than along the beach front. There are numerous trails down to the sea allowing me deeper penetration into the scrub as well as a quick search for seabirds. On this visit they are few and far between bar a couple seagulls under the jetty.

5

Grange Hotel

6

From track to beach through the dunes

 

Near one of the beach access paths I stop to watch a mudlark foraging in the sand and notice a discarded Besser brick lying in a sunny patch near a patch of early flowering succulents. Much to my surprise there is a bearded dragon lizard perched on it, flattened out to extract every bit of heat from the masonry. These reptiles are not uncommon in the summer but in the winter I would have expected them to be tucked away hibernating until spring.

7

Mudlark foraging along pathway

8 1

Bearded dragon picking up some rays

 

9

Still a few bugs around to eat for the dragon

Predators prey and unseasonal reptiles it has been a rewarding winter’s walk along the dunes enjoying the ocean, good food and quite an assortment of wildlife.

 

Enjoy your winter walks in SA

Cheers

Baz

Tea Tree Gully-An Afternoon in San’s Garden

12 Jun

Dear Reader:

Sometimes, it is not about four wheel drives, walks in the bush or diving on a reef. Sometimes, South Australia’s wildlife wonders are the common animals and plants that live  right under our noses in the backyard. Last weekend I grabbed a pie and a doughnut from the local shop, pulled out the recliner and watched the antics of the local critters in my friend’s garden. I hope you enjoy the pictures and a few minor, explanatory observations.

Spotted dove snoozing on the garage roof

Spotted dove snoozing on the garage roof

To initiate proceedings, a spotted dove landed on the garage roof, much to the consternation of a local cat, who sat and stared at it for a few minutes, decided it was too much work then nonchalantly strolled off to find easier prey.

New holland honeyeater feeding on orange honeysuckle

New holland honeyeater feeding on orange honeysuckle

Oleander seeds pods

Oleander seeds pods

New holland honeyeater catching insect in mid flight

New holland honeyeater catching insect in mid flight

While the dove dozed the high energy brigade arrived in the form of a squadron of new holland honeyeaters who proceeded to feed on various blossoms, hawk for insects and in one bizarre instance; pull apart the seed pods of an oleander. Fair enough if it was nesting season but a little hard to fathom at the beginning of winter!!

Hover fly grabbing a suck to eat

Hover fly grabbing a suck to eat

Bee on lavender

Bee on lavender

The winter months are not too conducive to insect life but a few ‘die hards’ do persist and the lavender and daisies played host to quite a number of bees and hover flies respectively.

Noisy miner surveys the garden with a bandit glare

Noisy miner surveys the garden with a bandit glare

Whatever the season my little bandit friends are always around with their masked faces and grey plumage. A small flock of noisy miners did the afternoon rounds, harassing the other birds and making their presence felt; arguing as much with each other as the other species.

Singing the team song in the old gum tree

Singing the team song in the old gum tree

Strutting his stuff on the back lawn

Strutting his stuff on the back lawn

Just as I was settling for a little snooze when the warbling (carolling) call of white backed magpies brought me to my feet. I walked around to the front garden to see a trio of the large black and white birds high in the crown of a roadside eucalypt loudly proclaiming their territory. Then, the largest and obviously most confident bird flew down into the garden only a few metres away to search for grubs.

Quinnus muchsuddliusforaging in the fairy garden

Quinnus cuddlius foraging in the fairy garden

Back to recliner, pictures taken, lunch finished; book or snooze again beckoning…when the most active of all the garden’s wildlife toddled in and a restful, lazy afternoon dissipated like an early morning mist evaporating when the sunshine arrives.

Enjoy your own gardens

Baz

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