Saturday, September 11, 2010

mysterious oak from Sherwood Forest (UK)

Here is our local Terminalia spp. again however I have also put in two photos of oaks from Sherwood Forest (UK). 
Which numbers are they?


Friday, September 10, 2010

oops!.... the mother got left behind

female sunbird                

                                                                                               photo courtesy of Uta Heidelhauf. Copyright.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Birds of the sun

The yellow-bellied Sunbird, Nectorinia jugularis is a real star here in the tropics.
Male sunbird
with dark blue-black feathers on throat
About 2 weeks ago a couple of sunbirds were checking out the real estate at my place but decided not to build here. 
They have built their nest elsewhere though because the male is feeding alone, which means his partner is caring for the chicks. She usually comes out later for a feed and both mother and father bird assist in feeding their young.

Today, September 9th is the first time  since nesting began where I have noticed the mother appear along with the father out feeding again.

The exotic passiflore they love grow outside my work window so I see them feed several times every day. 

I spray the the leaves of the torch ginger, Etlingera elatior with the hose and they bathe in the water drops nestled on the leaf. They turn it into a bit of a roller-coaster ride the way they slide up and down these leaves. Very entertaining to watch.
I have never seen them use the birdbath placed nearby for other species.

Sunbirds, originally from the mangroves, have adapted well to our urban life.

Nesting close to us humans is to protect their young from predatory species who are nervous about approaching our territory. 

They lead a nectarivorous lifestyle coming from the family Nectoriniidae. They are the only representative from this family in Australia and exist only along a narrow range of the northern tropics, from Cape York to Gladstone, QLD.

Their bill is long and slender to sip nectar from tubular-shaped flowers and they feed their young with nectar and insects. They check my windows for spiders every morning when attending to their routine food gathering. 
Great way for observing them closely.

Their call is a high-pitched dzit dzit or a hissing whistle, tss-ss-ss. Try it yourself!

torch ginger


photos of sunbirds used with kind permission from Uta Heidelhauf, Copyright.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

1st day of spring, September 1st, 2010

Terminalia babe

Great, it's just we don't get spring up these parts. 

Happy springtime to all you southerners, lucky you are leaving behind the coldest winter in 20 years.

I was heading south into town yesterday and noticed all the winter evaders, scurrying off south for the summer, towing their snail homes behind them.
Nothing like a bit of humidity and wet weather to scare them off.
It will be nice to have the roads back although they are getting congested without the annual invasion.

There has been no 'Dry' this year.  The longest break of no rain was 13 days straight in June. mid-August, 9mms of rain was enough to wake up many plants earlier than usual.  
 I worked frantically in the garden and fed all the plants as the new growth was introduced to the sun and rain. 

With the rain from the past few days totalling 64.5mms the carpet will remain green for now

Nature is certainly displaying her unstable tendencies, an early message for an unpredictable, unstable buildup/wet season perhaps.

Rainfall is measured every morning as close to 9am as possible. All mentions of rainfall volumes on this blog have been collected from the rain gauge in my front yard unless otherwise stated.

Now August has finished I have been able to tally the months rain and the consecutive tally.

Total rainfall for the year up to the end of August is 2082mms which has surpassed our annual average of 2000mms. Still 4 months to go before years end. 
It was at the end of July we surpassed the 2000mm mark.
We will just have to wait and see.......I will keep you posted.