Saturday, 22 March 2014

Bird bath time

When we first set up our red bird bath, outside the kitchen window,  it seemed to take about a year to get any clientele despite having a nice perch close to hand and some Grevillea from which to launch a dive.  However it is now quite popular, especially with smaller birds.  (It's also a good indicator of evaporation, but that is another story.)  Here are some of the visitors from 20 March.

This soggy bird is a Brown Thornbill, judging by the colour of the rump.  (I rarely find eye colour a help: they all look dark to me!)
In this case the diagnostic feature - because it isn't wet - is the relatively plain crown.  I was also fascinated by the position of the feet, twisted round to keep balance.
This is a very crappy image, apart from showing the white-streaked crown, a field mark for Striated Thornbill.  I often distinguish this species and the previous one by level in the canopy (Bro-Low, Stri-High is the mnemonic) but there isn't much liquid high in the canopy!
As well as a perching twig next to the bath I have alsoput a perching rock in the middle.  Here it is being used by a fierce looking Scrubby (aka White-browed Scrubwren, Sericornis frontalis).
Once this bath started getting customers we also acquired a blue bath and positioned it on the other side of the house.  This was instantly popular especially with Crimson Rosellas.  However in this dry year it has been used frequently by macropods, both Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Swamp Wallabies.  I am thus blaming a panicked Swampie for the bath getting knocked over.
The bath, unlike the adjacent pot survived the experience!

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