Wednesday, 29 September 2010

What a load of Wattle!

I have been away on various trips lately and so it has taken a while since my last blog for me to get around to photographing the glorious yellow blooms of the Wattle.  They are simply bursting like rays of bright sunshine across the gardens, Spring is here!  The Golden Wattle, Acacia pycnantha is Australia's floral emblem - you can read about its significance on the ANBG website here.  I really don't remember the Wattle looking so amazing last year, as a pom I see it as Australia's answer to the Daffodil. 

So beautiful.  As I was wandering around taking Wattle pictures I heard a strange rasping noise I'd never heard before coming from a Banksia bush.  I looked hard and worked out where the noise was coming from - a Red Wattlebird's nest!  One of the parents was nearby (not sure if it was Mum or Dad - both parents feed the young).  I didn't want to disturb the nest or frighten the chicks so I couldn't get my camera very close and used the zoom, but the nest was quite well concealed in the Banksia, despite being at eye-level!  Here are a couple of shots of the chicks (you will have to look hard amongst the leaves in the first photo) and parent on the lookout up in a tree. 

Nearby a kangaroo was grazing, he has a very friendly sort of face (not sure if it is a he but it seemed like a 'he' - no joey in sight anyhow!). 

As I was leaving the gardens I came across a new bird I hadn't seen before, always very exciting particularly in these gardens that I visit so often.  It was a Satin Bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus violaceus, and a fully mature male at that - young males may begin to acquire their adult plumage in their fifth year and are not fully 'attired' until they are seven.  His colour was gorgeous, the most beautiful deep shiny dark blue all over.  He was a bit elusive however, I spent a while chasing him round some bushes trying to get a clear shot but he wasn't co-operating and I had to get back to the office... so this is the best I managed!   Hopefully I will see him again and be able to get a better picture next time.