Showing posts from August, 2007

A late update

I have been as slack as all get-out in doing anything about this blog. However since I gave a few birding colleagues a roost about using blogs I have started to explore what can be done with this one. So here we are now.
We have survived most of our first Winter here and have pretty much settled in to the rural lifestyle. I suspect the stuff we have been really looking forward to enjoying is just about to start happening as the trees and bulbs start blooming and then the vegetables will start growing and being harvested. I'll try to summarise the first few months with some pictures below.

The first of these is a picture of the house and the main lawn. When we first moved in the area was in a major drought so the green lawn was a major feature.

Keeping the lawn in order required some attention, in ways that varied between seasons.

This is how it got mowed in Summer .

In Winter we got a bit of help from the locals.

I think I implied that the drought had broken? This photo was taken stand…

Pallid cuckoo

This is a male Pallid Cuckoo calling loudly and repeatedly on 30 August at about 1430.

At 1630 on the same a different and strange call was heard, and on investigating, it turned out to be a female Pallid Cuckoo. The male was in attendance (obviously his calling was a succesful attraction device).

Having got the female in his vicinity he began court1ng her. This began with them sitting side by side on a dead branch about 2m above the ground. He then flew to the ground seized a fat caterpillar which he took to the top of a stake supporting a tree guard and beat it a few times. He then flew next to the female and presented it to her. She accepted the offering and swallowed it. I saw this happen approximately 10 times over 10 minutes before they both flew off at high speed.

I had initially thought the caterpillars were sawfly larvae and puzzled over the bird's ability to eat such astringent prey. However another observer (Paul Taylor) has reported seeing large numbers of other, presum…