Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Yellow Blacks "in the pink".

Yesterday was a beautifully cool day; a max of 25C

The flock of a dozen or so Yellow Tailed Black cockatoos was back again.

Unlike yesterday, when they had sat in one place for as long as an hour at a time, with their wings held out from their bodies and beaks open, they were very active.

They ate, talking quietly to each other, and then at intervals took short flights around their currently preferred food source here (PInus radiata) and longer ones along the valley, calling all the way,  and back again.
It was great to see.

It's been two years since I have been able to get a good photo of them, so today was a special treat.

There is some dispute about what to do with the Pine Trees.
Pinus radiata

They are a pest plant in our bush.
Many want to remove them, but imo a staged removal is vital for these birds, although they are a major means of spreading the seeds, so it is a vexed issue.

We need to undertake major replanting of their original food plants, notably Hakeas, Banksias and Sheoaks before removing any more of the pine trees.

Seeds spread some distance on the wind, and are also carried into bushland by Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos.
Impact on Bushland
Radiata Pine establishes readily, creates dense shade, and carpets the ground thickly with needles. It depletes the soil of nutrients and water, changes soil chemistry, and excludes native plants. It favours the growth of weed seeds dropped by perching birds. A significant fire hazard."

And what we most certainly do NOT need here is anything that adds to our already VERY significant bushfire hazard.

Monday, February 3, 2014

More 40C+ Temperatures

Yes, it IS Summer and yes, this is when we expect our hot weather, so that is not worth mentioning.
What is worth mentioning is that the maxima are so high and general AND so variable.
It was 43C yesterday and today's forecast maximum is 25C, though only 18C at present.

We received about 7 spots of rain last evening, so that was a blessed relief, not.

The only reptiles I routinely see are small skinks, and even they were not out on the rocks sun-baking in the real heat, but are scampering around today.

The birds yesterday were clearly distressed.
Sheltering beaks open and wings held out from their body.

The "news" , given that so many different species have been seen to do so before, is that yesterday and for the first time, so were the Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos.

These two photos were taken late in the afternoon, close to 7PM

Earlier in the day, at the hottest, three flew down to one of the water trays and took turns drinking.
they have not been seen to do that here before.

I didn't risk disturbing them in order to take a photo.

Their call can be heard here and clearly they do seek out other peoples' bird baths.

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