Friday, July 23, 2010

Winter in the garden

Winter in the garden at Red Mill House is a very special time. This is the only time of the year that birds regularly visit the feeders because normally we have so much fruit and nectar available naturally that they can't be bothered. There is less so in winter. Banana, papaya and black sapote are the fruits of choice for the honeyeaters, Spangled Drongo, Spotted Catbird and Helmeted Friarbird. Even the Rainbow Lorikeets have decided to have a dabble this year. Needless to say our pair of Orange-footed and the array of Australian Brush-Turkey will clean up the scraps from the ground.
We have one poor old grapefruit tree, which unfortunately is dying, just off the breakfast deck. This is great perching and feeding spot as the following two images show.

Both the Spangled Drongo and Helmeted Friarbird seem to start their days here, announcing their presence to the world

This same tree has a bunch of Mistletoe on it, and this is the favourite food of the aptly-named Mistletoe Bird, a tiny but gorgeous bird, particularly the male. This bird is instrumental in the spreading of the mistletoe seed.

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