Week 1 November 2011: No rain this week
Early in the week we visited our friends from Canberra. They have a property east of Yallaroo and are establishing a colourful and interesting garden using both native and exotic plants.
The Willie Wagtails, who lost their nest last week when it slipped off a light fitting, are constructing another nest. The new site is in a Lilli Pilli (Acmena species) that is in a pot just outside our back door. This nest should survive as it is being built across a fork in the branches.
In fact there are now six nests (including the Wagtails) in very close proximity to the house. One Yellow-faced Honeyeater has built in a Clematis vine, another in an exotic jasmine vine, an Eastern Spinebill is nesting in a Pandorea vine and Grey Thrushes are nesting against a bend in a downpipe. These, plus the Wagtails, are all within three metres of our back door. Nest number six is on our front verandah and was built some time ago by a pair of Swallows. This is probably the 5th or 6th time this nest has been used. This nest is less than three metres from our front door. We are very pleased to have so many birds nesting near our house. One of our reasons for growing native plants in dense shrubberies is to provide a safe haven for our small native birds. Loss of habitat has meant that these unique species have disappeared from many places.
Both our large ponds are bulging at the seams with tadpoles. This is another satisfying result with our endeavours at providing wildlife havens.
Planting continued this week with 33 plants finding homes in our gardens. We have planted a bean seed in each planting hole with our natives. This vegetable seed planting worked very well last spring when we planted cucumber and zucchini seeds with our natives.
Potting on also continued this week. Actinostrobus pyramidalis and Hakea verrucosa seedlings were potted on into thumb pots. As they develop they will planted into native tubes. We are finding that this two-step potting on process means more seedling survival.
More Channel-billed Cuckoos were around this week. These large, grey birds with massive beaks have a very raucous call.