These Summer visitors are now well-established in the area. This female was one of several we watched during a visit to Merimbula, an hour's drive to the north.
Both males and females were calling from the trees lining Merimbula Lake.
The streaky plumage distinguishes the female Rufous Whistler from female Golden Whistlers.
The males are quite unmistakable.
This is one of several small lilies that flower in the forest at this time of year. It grows low to the ground, usually as a single plant and flower.
Yes, the orchids are still flowering!
I couldn't resist including these again this week. A cluster of four plants made quite a display ... this pair of tall flowers ...
.... and another pair lower to the ground.
One of many Honey Bees feasting on Gahnia pollen. This 'great event' lasted only a couple of days - the pollen is now completely spent and only the female parts of the flower are now showing.
A native bee
One of several species of native bees I've been watching this week ... and trying to identify.
Common Hover Fly
Hover flies are important pollinators, visiting flowers to feed on both nectar and pollen. Unlike bees, however, they don't feed their larvae on pollen. The larvae are carnivores ... they eat aphids!
Melangyna sp. (Probably M. viridiceps)
A different Hover Fly
It came as something of a surprise to us when we identified this as belonging to the Hover Fly family. They don't look or act like typical hover flies ... they don't even really hover!
Not another fly, Paul!!
Sorry. Couldn't resist this one, particularly as I managed to identify it to species level after a hard day's work. It's Senostoma punctipenne, a long-legged tachinid fly, seen here extending its proboscis to suck up nectar from this teatree flower. And I think it's rather handsome.
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
A family of three make regular visits and their behaviours are quite predictable. The male sits high in the tree, on guard, while the female tears at shrubs and branches in search of grubs ... and the baby sits and begs.
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
This 'baby' must be nearly independent ... it is adult-sized, has quite a crest, and is very alert. But it still begs noisily and continuously.
Superb Fairy-wren (male)
This male was noisily and actively courting a female. The dappled sun flashing on his blue feathers was quite beautiful.
No doubt these birds are off nesting, as we don't see them in the open so much at the moment. They do return to the bath regularly, though.
The local pair has started nesting and they're well-settled into their territory. This one had clearly just finished bathing. They mainly eat lizards, spiders and insects, but perhaps they're developing a taste for the tadpoles in the frog pond.
A male patiently waiting at the pond for a mate to arrive.
Only the males have the striking blue thorax.
When camouflage doesn't work
We first saw this beautiful moth, the Cryptic Emerald Aeolochromia mniaria a couple of years ago. Like this one, it was on the wall of the house. Our chances of sighting it in its natural habitat are probably very low.
Huge jumping spider!
Well, it's actually only 10mm long. But that's relatively large for this group of spiders. This is the first time we've seen this species Servaea incana on the block. She has taken up residence somewhere on our front deck so we'll almost certainly be seeing more of her.