Spring! Where did you Eric from?*

Bees feeding off a native hibiscus.


Well the garden has sprung into action like a very springy thing. The bees are busy with all the flowers, butterflies are flitting from bloom to bloom. The birds are getting really active. The usual inhabitants, the White Browed Babblers and the New Holland Honeyeaters are in a frenzy of nest building/repairs and generally chasing each other round the garden. We’ve got a new family moved in. A pair of Rufous Whistlers have built a nest in our peppercorn tree and can be regularly seen foraging for insects in the garden beds. The other day there was a commotion – all the small birds were squawking loudly. At first I thought it was the neighbours cat, but when I went outside to have a look I saw this blur descend out of the skies, level off just before hitting the ground and dash back up onto the TV aerial. It was a Nankeen Kestrel feeding off of small skinks and geckos that were foolish enough to sun themselves. The kestrel spent about 30 minutes repeating the behaviour until it flew off. Who needs to go on a wildlife safari with all this happening.


Although considered a pest the cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) is the most conspicuous butterfly in Western Australia and is a sure sign that spring has arrived.


The eponymous New Holland Honeyeaters can be seen feeding off the Geraldton Wax and grevilleas. They are quite territorial and aggressive and they chase each other around incessantly.


One of ever increasing number of White Browed Babblers eating grubs.


The rufous whistlers have made a nest in our peppercorn tree and can be regularly seen foraging in the garden for insects.


A Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides cenchroides) perching on our TV aerial watching for prey. York, Western Australia.


A Buchanan’s Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus buchananii) sunning itself on the trellis of our patio.


* today’s blog title is a quote from the 1975 film Royal Flash which I went and saw on release at the Chichester fleapit I mean Granada Cinema. It was a spectacularly bad film and its only redeeming feature was that it gave work to some actors who would have otherwise been unemployed. The Observer’s review of it said “leaves one breathless not so much with enchantment as with boredom”. It shows how bad it is in that it has never been resurrected as a cult classic that only connoisseurs could enjoy. That I can quote lines from the film is testimony to the fact that I grew up in a town where there was very little in the way of entertainment for young people.