The First of Spring

Spring has arrived in Australia and all the signs are there:

The Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena) are swooping around my house, Dragonflies are seen in the garden, and of course the first Butterfly is fluttering around the spring flowers.

Australian Painted Ladies (Vanessa kershawi) are one of the first butterflies to emerge in spring. Their flight season ranges from August to May.

My first sighting of an Australian Painted Lady this spring.

My first sighting of an Australian Painted Lady this spring.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

Eye Contact

Over the last few days I have been reviewing my library of images.  Here are a few bird photographs that I like – the reason? I just love the look on the face of these birds when they looked me in the eye.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Galah

Galah

Laughing Kookaburra

Laughing Kookaburra

Australian Magpie

Australian Magpie

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.


 

Close Up of a Grey Shrike-thrush

The images below are of a Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincia harmonica) which I spotted in a bush just outside my kitchen window. It was searching for insects to eat.

Grey Shrike-thrush looking for insects.

Grey Shrike-thrush looking for insects.

Grey Shrike-thrush

Grey Shrike-thrush

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.


Common Brown Butterfly

This is one of my favourite quotes: There are a thousand photos within ten minutes of home.

And this image is an example of that quote. I came across this beauty no more than half a dozen steps from my back door.

The photo below is of a Common Brown Butterfly (Heteronympha merope) which is native to Australia. By late summer, only females are alive, and, as it is now autumn, it appears this may be a female.

Common Brown (Heteronympha merope)

Common Brown (Heteronympha merope)

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.


 

New Holland Honeyeater

The New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) is a small bird measuring between 16 to 19 centimetres in size. It is streaked black and white with a yellow wing patch and white iris.

New Holland Honeyeater at the bird bath.

New Holland Honeyeater at the bird bath.

The female is the smaller bird. These birds are very active and rarely sit still in one place. They will be seen darting from one flower to another in search of high energy food.

New Holland Honeyeater #2.

New Holland Honeyeater #2.

The New Holland Honeyeater is native to Australia. It is not considered endangered and will be found in heaths, coastal banksia woodlands and urban areas.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

The House Sparrow

It has been brought to my attention that yesterday was World Sparrow Day. A day designated to raise awareness about the House Sparrow and other common birds found in urban locations.

The following images are of  House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) which were introduced into Australia from Britain, through Victoria at first, then into other parts of the country between 1863 to 1870. House Sparrows can now be found through out Eastern Australia.

House Sparrow at the bird bath in my garden.

House Sparrow at the bird bath in my garden.

Its ability to eat all types of food has helped the House Sparrow to become established in Australia. It will be found at street side cafes looking for the crumbs and food scraps left by humans.

An adult bird feeding a fledgling in the bird feeder

An adult bird feeding a fledgling in the bird feeder

Male and female House Sparrows form permanent pairs and both sexes build the nest and attend to the young. Several broods may be produced in an extended breeding season.

On the waterfront at Hobsons Bay

On the waterfront at Hobsons Bay

Living with us

“Although the introduction of the House Sparrow was deliberate, and welcomed by many people, it quickly became a major pest, and a reward was paid by the government for the birds and their eggs. Today, the species is so well established in the east that no amount of effort will exterminate the ever-expanding population. The birds however have so far been prevented from establishing themselves in Western Australia, with every bird observed being deliberately destroyed.” – http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Passer-domesticus

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

End of Breeding Season

Over this summer, I have taken many photographs of  a pair of Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus), some of which I posted on this blog. This pair had a family of at least two young which, so far, have eluded my camera. The breeding season for these birds is between September and March, and as such, is coming to an end now.

The images below are the latest I have taken.

The female Superb Fairy-wren

The female Superb Fairy-wren

The photograph below of the male shows his breeding plumage is slowly losing its brilliant colours.

The male - Losing his breeding colours.

The male – Losing his breeding colours.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

Wattlebirds

Wattlebirds are Australian native honeyeaters. They are characterised by their wattles which are are bare fleshy appendages, usually wrinkled and often brightly coloured, hanging from the cheeks, neck or throat, and presumably serving for display.

The Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera), which lacks wattles, and the smallest of the species has a body size of 26 – 33 centimetres. The female is smaller.

Little Wattlebird at the birdbath.

Little Wattlebird at the birdbath – note the lack of wattles.

Wattlebirds will aggressively defend their territory and have been known to force other species out.

This juvenile Little Wattlebird was captured shaking the water off after its bath.

This juvenile Little Wattlebird was captured shaking the water off after its bath.

In the above image, the rufous wing patch, normally conspicuous in flight, can be readily seen.

The Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) is the only other Wattlebird endemic to this area. This particular one, pictured below, arrived at my bird bath, had a drink, then promptly flew off. I don’t normally see them in my garden, but they are very common where I walk at Lake Colac and Barongarook Creek.

Red Wattlebird, (Anthochaera carunculata) - note the red wattles.

Red Wattlebird, (Anthochaera carunculata) – note the red wattles.

The Red Wattlebird has a body of size of about 31 – 39 centimetres. Again, the female is smaller.

Another shot of the Red Wattlebird.

Another shot of the Red Wattlebird.

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

As Summer Ends #2

This summer has set new records for temperatures. In my part of Australia, a new record was set for a heatwave – several days in a row with temperatures around 45 to 46 degrees Celsius (113 – 114.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Other parts of Australia fared much worse, and a large part of the Australian continent is suffering drought conditions as they have had no rain for a couple of years.

During these days of extreme temperatures I spent time watching the birds enjoy cool water in the bird bath.

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) - Enjoying a cool bath!

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) – Enjoying a cool bath!

New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) - After their bath!

New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) – After their bath!

I must confess I had to delete many images which were blurred. These little birds move at incredible speed when bathing and as such many images were not good enough to use.

Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica) - Some after a cool drink were happy just to pose!

Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica) – Some after a cool drink were happy just to pose!

Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) watching a House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) - Are you finished yet?

Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) watching a House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) – Are you finished yet?

 

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

As Summer Ends…

As summer draws to an end, I have begun to review the many images I have made over the past few months. The following butterfly photographs are my first attempts at capturing these colourful creatures.

Yellow Admiral

Yellow Admiral (Vanessa itea)

Imperial Jezebel (Delias harpalyce)

Imperial Jezebel (Delias harpalyce)

The above two photographs were taken on extremely windy days. These delicate creatures appeared to be clinging on for dear life. Needless to say, I had to delete some of the images.

Silky Hairstreak (Pseudalmenus chlorinda)

Meadow Argus (Junonia villida)

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

Please Note: All photographs appearing on my blog were taken by me. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.