Splish, splash, they were taking a bath…

Splish, splash, they were taking a bath…

 

 

Most visitors to Worlds End Conservation will know that we have had a water trough – effectively a bird bath – set up in the garden area of the Read Creek Hills cottage for a few years now.

It’s common for visitors to the cottage to see birds visiting the trough through the kitchen window. Also, its become very common to see bees and wasps visiting the trough, especially in summer. Last year I decided to leave a trail camera out facing the trough to see what happens when no-one is around. This took a little while to sort out as my first attempt had the camera facing into some trees which resulted in most shots being triggered by branches moving in the wind.

More recently I have moved the camera into a position where it faces the static side of the cottage, and while this does result in some glare problems at some times of the day, we have started to get some really interesting results, certainly enough to keep doing it.

During summer, bees and wasps arrive around 11am and stay until after 7pm. Most, but not all, birds don’t like showing up while the bees are around. As a consequence most birds have been visiting just after sunrise and just before sunset, with a few surprising visitors appearing at night.

So without further ado, let’s present some of our visitors from the last few months! Some are expected, but a few are not!

A stunning Brown Goshawk visited several times during the middle of the day, and had a long bath even with all the bees around…

Groups of Mallee Ringneck Parrots were fairly frequent visitors…and Red Wattlebirds too…

At this stage birds perching on the camera moved it, luckily not far enough to ruin the view…

Here’s one I wasn’t expecting, a Grey Butcherbird…  

Here a Little Raven and a Galah have a disagreement..

.

Lots of Adelaide Rosellas would turn up in groups…

White-winged Choughs are so commonly heard around our properties we were bound to catch a few of them…

To my surprise the most common birds at the trough were the wonderful Grey Currawongs, either singly or in groups of two or three…

Possibly a Singing Honeyeater?

Lots of Pee Wees (aka Murray Magpies or Magpie-Larks). There were also ‘normal’ Magpies around…

We also got the occasional night shot. On several occasions we saw Common Bronzewings drinking after dark.

The tilting camera helped us spot the odd non-avian interloper too, this little Euro visited the garden, on several occasions…       presumably by hopping over the wall!

Then Galahs galore! What a mob!

We aren’t sure what these tiny birds are, I thought they might be Pardalotes because of the short tails but it’s hard to tell. I might have to up the camera resolution a bit.

Finally, what is the identity of these absolutely massive and intimidating looking wasps? Any entomologists out there?

There are plenty more shots, but you get the drift. I think if we keep experimenting we will get more surprises and hopefully some more nocturnal action as well. I’m so pleased that I would like to see a second trough set up at Hallelujah Hills where quite a different suite of birds and other critters might be found. But that’s a discussion for another time and place….

By Phil Bagust