Wow - cool!
Thank you! I’m very happy with it…
We have some nesting boxes in our barn for the chickens, but they generally prefer to lay their eggs elsewhere, the little darlings.
I noticed that someone else was making use of the space, but last night was the first time I’d met the usurper:
Very small bird in the middle of the nest there, if you squint. Some kind of warbler, maybe.
I’ve been opening up the allotment/community garden plot over the last couple of weeks - uncover, fertilise, dig over - that sort of thing. I’ve seen the odd robin stop by briefly as I’ve been working, maybe grab a quick snack - but that all changed today.
This morning I had a robin (I’m presuming it was the same one throughout, but who knows?) in almost constant attendance, hopping to within a foot of me as I worked, gorging on worms and creepy-crawlies. Flying off for a few minutes, then back again to resume. I’m assuming that either (a) there are new and insistent mouths to feed back at the nest; or maybe (b) I was looking at two robins, and shared egg-sitting duties mean a drastic reduction in the time available for feeding, hence the need to get out there and stuff yourself silly while you can.
Yesterday morning during my walk, I heard a very loud woodpecker noise. After looking around, I spotted a huge pileated woodpecker on a tree. As I turned my head, another pileated flew right in front of me. I assume she was on her way to meet up with her “date”.
Then that afternoon, while walking in the woods, I heard the sound I wait for, my favorite sound of spring - the frogs! I heard spring peepers and chorus frogs.
Out on the bike today I saw the first bluebells of spring - in two different locations, both south-facing hills.
And more interesting than that, I’m fairly sure I saw an osprey. We do get them round here - famously in the spring and autumn at Weirwood Reservoir, as they migrate from Spain to Wales and back. The one time previously that I saw them was there. Today I was passing a large hammer pond - huge bird, soaring like a buzzard, kind of gull-like in shape and markings. Tracking over the water with mean intent, hunting in the way that gulls just don’t do (around these parts, at least). When I arrived, it slid over to the far side of the lake - two or three hundred meters away - so I didn’t get a great look at it. Damn!
We have butterflies here already - I’m used to seeing the little white cabbage butterflies about now, but we’ve had swallowtails already - both the Tiger Swallowtail and the Black Swallowtail.
My next door neighbor has a large tree out front, maybe 60 feet tall. I recently found out it is a Podocarpus.
We have a pair of butcherbirds that nest in a big tree in our yard. Arthur and Martha. Martha in particular is almost entirely fearless of people, and has been since before we met her so I suspect she had good experiences with people from a young age.
We feed them a little (not enough they become dependent) particularly when they are breeding. They have one youngster in tow at the moment. Martha, for all I love her, is a greedy bitch. She will snatch food thrown to the other two without a qualm.
Butcherbirds have a lovely song and mimic other birds. This is Martha in full voice:
If you know Brisbane birds, you can recognise almost every Brisbane backyard birdcall in this video, all being made by Martha. Sorry about the weird quacking and whistling noises I make, they encourage her to keep going.
Yesterday, a ginormous rabbit was sitting in my yard. I went to get my phone but he had left.
He may have eaten too many Peeps for Easter.
Wildlife have an amazingly acute ability to know when they are about to be photographed, and take evasive action.
Sounds like your version of our Northern Mockingbird. Sometimes they will sing at night. For hours. Continuously.
Small patch of carnivorous plants. The yellow blossoms are utricularia subulata. They have small slender leaves and blossoms above ground and bladders on their roots that gobble up nematodes and crustaceans. The red plants are drosera capillaris, sundews with sticky pads that probably catch more pollen than bugs. Interesting little community.
How about nematodes and copepods not crawdads. Sorry!
Ah, okay. I was wondering how that worked.
Today in nature I saw one bajillion caterpillars.
From 7 Apr:
From 4 Apr: Osprey sighting at the same location
(Scroll down 4 screens)
Now I feel pretty pleased with myself.