Friday, September 30, 2016

Nesting Magpie Lark's

30th September 2016

A pair of our resident Magpie Lark's Grallina cyanoleuca (aka Pee Wee's) have successfully built their mud nest in the same ironbark tree as they did two years prior.  Last year they switched trees to a much higher position in one of our largest eucalyptus tereticornis not far from this tree.  It is interesting to see that they have returned to the previously favoured tree which is very close to the house.  There seems to have been some success, despite a few recent downpours of rain, as we have witnessed the parents tending to the chicks.

Magpie Larks pair for life and I only recently learned that they are known to sing in duet, with each partner producing about one note a second, but a half-second apart, so that humans find it difficult to tell that there are actually two birds singing, not one.

J .G.

Daddy Magpie Lark, taking his turn minding the chicks at Jarowair 30/09/16

The mud nest is made up of some interesting things this time, including what looks like a long piece of fishing line hanging from the nest - we never leave anything like this out and about so are unsure where this has been sourced from!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Crested Pigeon babies at last

8 September 2016

For many years, we have watched the Crested Pigeons Ocyphaps lophotes attempt at building nests in a variety of trees, without any success - something always has ended up taking the juveniles before they were fully fledged.

This year, we were very happy to find though, that they had much better luck, choosing again a tree they had used in the past.  We had been watching the parent sit on the nest and hadn't got to see how many eggs or babies there were until on the 8th of September, i walked past and noticed the mum wasn't there, and there were two babies sitting in the nest. I took a quick photo on my phone and let them be, within a few minutes of passing by the tree, the parent had returned back to her spot caring for the babies.

Crested Pigeon Juveniles at Jarowair 8 Sept 2016 (iphone6 photo)

Crested Pigeon on nest with two Juveniles at Jarowair 8 Sept 2016 (iphone6 photo)

27 September 2016
On return from holiday, the nest was empty, but Brendon witnessed a pair of Crested Pigeons nearby with a fully fledged juvenile.  Unfortunately it looks like only one has survived, however this his better odds than the other years.

J & B.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

White-banded Bees on Buttercup Wildflowers

11 September 2016

As you will know by now, I just love my wildflowers - and now that Spring is here, I am taking in everything that has popped up after some recent rain.  I was looking at these beautiful vibrant yellow native Australian Common Buttercups (Ranunculus lappaceus), when I noticed some of them had small 'bees' on them.  I took some photos on my phone which weren't real flash for identification, so went back with the macro lens to get better photos.

I am very lucky to have such a wonderful network of clever people - and thanks to Ken Walker, I have the positive identification of Lasioglossum lanarium (White-banded Bee or Native Sweat Bee). These bees were around 1cm in length, and weren't moving much at all on the Buttercups, just tucked in around the centre of the flower.  I found others with the same behaviour on other nearby Buttercups also. Ken tells me that this is typical behaviour of males on flowers waiting for a female to arrive. He says that he has often seen these males say overnight inside a flower which closes its petals at night!

I am so glad that I went back for better photos to pass onto an expert - as this is another new record for Jarowair Our Patch.


Lasioglossum lanarium (White-banded Bee) on native Buttercups at Jarowair 9 Sept 2016

Three Lasioglossum lanarium (White-banded Bee) on native Buttercups at Jarowair 9 Sept 2016