Saturday, 4 May 2013

Visitors at Chez Bella

I'll start this post with an apology.  What follows are some terrible photos of gorgeous subjects.

We are drawing closer to the start of winter here in Brisbane, though the days are gloriously sunny and the day- time temperatures still warm. There is a little less flowering in the garden at the moment, but this is more than compensated by some of the visitors to the garden.

One of my favourites, who drops by quite regularly, is the Blue-faced Honeyeater. They are such a handsome bird, with an olive green back, white underside, black bib and head, and a striking blue marking around the eye.

They love the canopy of the poinciana and occasionally sweep down into the pool for a dip.

I bought this plate years ago from the Eumundi markets, because it had a Blue-faced Honeyeater on it.

Another visitor to the poinciana that I snapped about a week ago was this Rainbow Lorikeet.

Yesterday, there were still more feasting on the nectar in the sasanqua camellias.

This stunning pair of Pale-headed Rosellas are rarer visitors to the garden, though I do see them overhead from time to time.

I'm not 100% sure whether this lizard is a water dragon or a forest dragon. At Chez Bella, we most frequently think of him as Onslow's nemesis. He seems to pick a safe spot just inside the pool fence where he is in Onslow's clear view but completely safe - no matter how much barking ensures. It drives poor Onslow to distraction.

And finally, two of the less popular visitors to Chez Bella. This photo goes back to around November (Halloween!) The poor little guy started making unexpected appearances fluttering around inside the lounge room. I don't particularly mind bats, but since they are associated with a nasty rabies-like illness (lyssavirus), I was very concerned that the dogs might get bitten if they ever got to him.

One evening he crash landed, and I was able to scoop him up in a bucket and release him on the front hedge, never to be seen again but hopefully happy in his new home.


While I would love to think that this was a lovely little native frog or toad, I suspect he is the hated and despised cane toad (but he was so little I had to let him go). Cane toads were introduced from Hawaii to eat a beetle in sugar cane crops, but they have been an environmental disaster. They are very toxic and have had a devastating effect on native wildlife, from frogs through to birds, small mammals and reptiles.

Occasionally, the dogs have got hold of one and start frothing at the mouth, so the race is then on to retrieve the toad and thoroughly rinse out their mouths before they are seriously poisoned.

As for the permanent 'wildlife' at Chez Bella  - I can hear Onslow snoring in the background. He's having a snooze on the couch.

Miss B is back in the collar of shame. She's got a nasty allergy between her toes, she just can't stop licking.

And freshly snapped this morning:  this has got to be my last daylily for the season (surely!)

'Passions Promise'

Here at Onslow and Miss B, we are going to hibernate over winter. I started blogging because I loved reading everyone else's blogs so much, but I have been struggling a bit to keep up with everything lately. I think while it is a quiet time here in the garden in Brisbane, I will focus on catching up and enjoying the Northern Hemisphere gardens over their spring and summer. I might even get the time to shop for a new big camera and work my way through Donna's great tips for photographing birds at Garden Walk Garden Talk  (click to visit). And of course, if I see anything really interesting, we'll be back to share.


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