Spring is in the air!

I was looking at my diminished woodpile this morning and thinking that I might not need to cut any more this winter. We might just have seen off the worst of the cold. Spring is in the air!

In the last week I’ve noticed the Little Noisy Friarbirds Philemon corniculatus (a kind of honeyeater) arriving back in town to stake their claim on favoured gardens. Here at the Boobook office a couple of birds are flitting between the flowering Eremophila bushes, getting their sugar hit and chasing off rivals for the nectar.

Magpie-lark Grallina cyanoleuca

Elsewhere, I watched a pair of Magpie-larks (“peewees”) chasing their youngsters, reminding them it’s time to leave home so their parents can get on with a new lot of nestlings. The next good shower of rain will provide them with mud to renovate or build a new nest. In the meantime, other birds can be seen gathering nest-building material, like the House Sparrows I’m watching as they collect grass stems and cotton threads from our lawn.

What signs of Spring are you expecting to see at your place in the next few weeks?

Rainbow Bee-eaters Merops ornatus

Over the next few weeks the local birds will be joined by Spring migrants. We will soon be hearing the calls of Sacred Kingfishers, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Channel-billed Cuckoos and others. Some of these birds, which have over-wintered in North Queensland or as far away as New Guinea and Indonesia, will stay to breed in our district while others will continue on their journey to southern Australia. They will be signs of the changing season, as they have been for millennia. In bush lore the raucous calls of the Channel-billed Cuckoo, as well as the voices of several other birds, herald the arrival of the early season rains and have earned them the generic name “stormbird”.

Now that the weather is warming up, its the perfect time to get out an about and really appreciate nature. If you are bird watcher like I am or maybe part of a special interest bird watching group, why not contact Boobook Ecotours about organising a customised tour.

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