June 2018 Field Visit – Port Macquarie

Yeah, okay, Port Macquarie is not in the Riverina. It’s about as far from being in the Riverina as it’s possible to be while remaining in New South Wales. Geographically, climaticly, ecologically, the works. But I had to go to Port Macquarie for an unrelated reason this month, and while I was there I visited some rainforest fragments, and they were so pretty I decided to blog about them. So welcome to this month’s instalment of Riverina (and other places) Wildlife.

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Adventures in ‘gardenside’ birding

I opened my front door today to find a small group of galahs (and two yellow rosellas who flew off before I could get my camera out) sitting on the front verge and eating seeds. Knowing the state of my front verge, I suspect they were eating cathead (Tribulus terrestris) seeds, so I hope they come back tomorrow and eat some more, because the fewer cathead seeds that germinate on my front verge next summer the better.

Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) helping address my weed problem

Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) are one of those species with the unfortunate distinction of being so familiar a sight that few people ever bother to stop to look at them. I must plead guilty to this as well, but I do like to take the time to sit and watch them on occasion, and it must be acknowledged that they’re kinda pretty. We’re a bit spoiled in Australia, because so many of our common birds are large and brightly coloured, and it’s easy to accept this as normal and forget that out of the tens of thousands of bird species worldwide,¬†great big pink things that come and eat weed seeds on your front verge are actually rather unusual.

Galahs – proof that even being big, pink, and noisy isn’t enough to get you noticed

Sadly, the galahs were disturbed by my leaving my verandah to walk to my car, and flew off. I needed to get going though, because I was helping someone set up a new veggie garden in another part of town. While taking a break from gardening I looked up at the shed and noticed we were being watched.

Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) watching from the shed

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