Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In My Yard

I have a large house block - 2100 sq M. (which is just over half an acre). When I first came here the immediate need was for a fence that would keep my dog and cat at home with me! The easiest and cheapest was a good high wire fence which I then proceeded to hide with a lot of perimeter plantings. After 12 years here I now have lovely green walls that keep growing. One side is now a hedge of Lilly Pillies (Syzygium smithii) which has to be trimmed regularly! I liked the look of palms and in this climate they grow well. I now have three sides covered with palms. Most have grown well but some few have not survived. When I checked the names of these palms I see that most of them can be grown in pots but they love the outdoors and grow to heights never seen with little pot plantings!
The easiest to grow have been the Golden Cane Palms (Dypsis Lutescens). These are clumping palms and keep on spreading unless you cut back the new small ones. Most of mine are now between 2-3 meters high.

The palm that I like the best is a beautiful silver green color (Bismarkia Noblis). It has a single trunk and can eventually grow to 12 meters. This was the most expensive palm to buy so I only have a few scattered around the garden.

Another palm which has grown very well is the Sabal Palmetto. I planted these among other types of palms to give the effect of a palm grove. It was in this area that some of the other palms did not survive. I think the Sabal Palmettos just choked the growth of the others. However, all the higher growing palms did survive and now give an interesting height variation to this area.

The only problem with palms is that there are few things to attract the birds. The white Cockies (Sulphur Crested Cockatoos) are the exception as they come in and cling to the highest fronds and then proceed to tear them apart!

(If you expected to see some new and exciting bird photos  - go somewhere else! I am going to post some from the archives! It is the story that is new and very different!) 
Blue-faced Honeyeaters are regular visitors in my yard. They are noisy and inquisitive and occasionally quite aggressive. From the time I first came here they have chased -  and ganged up! - on my cat. Late the other afternoon I heard a cat wail! which meant "Come and rescue me". I went out on to the back verandah and discovered the poor cat cringing against the house wall while Blue-faced Honeyeaters swooped at it. Nothing new in that but their loud cries brought all their family and friends to help. They were not worried about me - they just retreated to the guttering and screamed at me! By the time they decided to leave there were at least two dozen of them all lined up just above me and screaming! I have never seen so many of them all together before. Just imagine a line of these birds all eying you with those bright eyes! (Photos from the archives - who would have the presence of mind to grab a camera in a situation like this??)

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

Dypsis Lutescens
Dypsis Lutescens
Dypsis Lutescens

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Grey Day

The only day I had free last week to go looking for birds the weather was less than perfect.I do like bright sunshine and blue skies! However, there was some interesting lighting over the water. This is Norman Point looking east.

Looking south the sun was shining on the boats moored at that end of the bay.

Norman Point usually has some birds roosting at the end of the sand. The birds had already been disturbed as there were fresh dog paw prints going out on the sand. These birds had returned - a Pelican, a number of Silver Gulls and a Gull-billed Tern with a full black breeding cap.

I drove to the other end of the point and looked out over Snapper Creek. A Pelican and a Little Black Cormorant were sharing this light post.

These two Silver Gulls were resting on the boat ramp. They are juveniles with some brown spots left on their plumage and dark legs, bill and eyes. Have a look at the coloring on the adult in the previous post.

I then drove down to the southern end of Tin Can Bay to Crab Creek. Looking east over the bay.

A small group of Galahs were busily pecking at grass seeds.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Last week I showed photos of the beach at Rainbow. The land here becomes quite a narrow peninsular. Just 3 kms west is the bay - part of the Great Sandy Strait. This is a very different environment from the open ocean. It is a safe and usually quiet anchorage. The off-shore charter fishing boats start from here. There is also a boat ramp that is popular for smaller boats. There are also a variety of birds that usually wait around such places.
This is a view from close to the boat ramp. Tin Can Bay is just out of view around the left bank.

The bay is ringed with mangrove trees and even at high tide there are some sand banks for the birds to use. This one had a couple of Pied Oystercatchers, a Silver Gull, and a Little Black Cormorant.

Silver Gulls always make a good photo against a blue sky.

These are Tree Martins which can usually be found here swooping over the water catching insects and perching on any empty fences or mooring ropes.

There was a Great Egret perched on the edge of the bank and watching carefully for any fish that might be down in the water - or any fish that it might be able to take from a couple of people fishing close by on the boat ramp.

 This close view of the bird's head shows the gape of the yellow bill extending beyond the eye. This is one way to distinguish this egret from some of the others. 

I thought that there were no more birds close-by for me to photograph until I looked up! Pelicans often use these big lights to rest on.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.