The Laughing Dove, or Senegal Turtledove, is not a native of Australia. It is, in fact, native to Africa and India.
Apparently, back in 1898, Perth Zoo released a number of pairs into the wild. Given the natural catastrophes, caused by the introduction of other non-indiginous species into the Australian continent, one has to ask …. “What were you thinking ?”
Now, for some, these pretty birds are referred to as “flying rats”. And, in the same way as the ground based version, viewed as vermin.
Just like the Rock Dove back in the UK, they nest on any flat surface, their excrement gathers wherever they nest and smears the outsides of buildings and monuments.
Thanks to Perth Zoo, these birds are to be found over most of Western Australia.
The month of June is quite often referred to as “Flaming June”. Depending on the weather this can be either a positive description or a negative one. This year I believe this description would be delivered as a positive.
The weather has been predominantly good, much to the benefit of the roses. Here are a few from my garden.
Over the last few weeks I have loaded up two of my bird feeders with around 2 kilos of sunflower hearts. One feeder has a stainless steel mesh and is mainly frequented by the various members of the tit family. Supplemented by the occasional visits of a pair of Nuthatches and Robins. And today we even had a Bullfinch, a first for us.
The other feeder is a little more open and needless to say is the preferred food source for, yep, you guessed it. The squirrels …..
I wouldn’t mind, but in stealing the birds food they spill more on the ground than they actually eat.
This ground based bounty then attracts the attention of those flying pigs, the Wood Pigeons. I call them pigs because of the volume of seed a single pigeon consumes. I also refer to them as vultures, as they sit high up in the trees waiting for us humans to leave the garden so they can come down and scavenge. They remind me of that old cartoon and tee shirt design …..
One day they will lose their patience, fly down and attack me instead of waiting for me to fill the feeders.
Anyway, I know, it’s my fault, I bought the wrong type of feeder. But I have yet to find a squirrel proof feeder. These little scallywags have such sharp teeth and are so persistent, that they have chewed their way into every feeder that doesn’t give them instant access to the food, like the one above.
Like us humans and our money, who want instant access to our cash. We have ATMs, the squirrel community want ASDs. Automated Seed Dispensers.
You can tell that the weather is warming up. The ants get busy and then along comes this great little guy….
This very smart bird is a European Green Woodpecker, Picus viridis.
He and his pals visit our front garden fairly frequently since we seem to have more than our fair share of ant nests. This member of the woodpecker family spends much of its time feeding on ants, on the ground. Unlike other species of woodpecker, he does not often ‘drum’ on trees.
They are supposed to be a shy bird but I have found them to be fairly tolerant so long as you don’t make any sudden moves. When they fly away they usually do so whilst emitting their very loud and distinctive call.
Given the current cold spell I don’t begrudge these little fellows a few peanuts. Midday and -1 outside even though the sun is shining. A few snow sprinkles falling too, although too few to bother anyone.
Although I put the peanuts out for the birds, the squirrels (and Wood Pigeons) eat the bulk of them. They are always cute and entertaining, so small price to pay for their company.
Since filling the feeders this weekend we are being visited by tits of the Blue, Great and Long-tailed varieties.
This morning, there was also a Nuthatch getting his fill of sunflower hearts.
As always, the Robins are policing the garden. In the summer they typically, aggressively, chase off any other visitors to the feeders. Perhaps, due to the cold, they are being a little more magnanimous and just observing from a distance.
The Wood Pigeons sit like vultures in the trees. Observing the comings and goings of all the other birds. Since they can no longer land on the feeders, they are relegated to hoovering up the scatterings of their smaller brethren.