….for the word had passed around
That some warmer days at last were on their way,
The garden shrubs were blooming, with nectar to be found,
So all the birds had gathered for the fray.

spinebill


spinebill


new holland


new holland

And not just the nectar feeders, there has been a flush of birds of many different varieties, one of the more uncommon garden birds being a Spotted Pardalote photographed calling in a territorial display.

spotted pardalote

The Scarlet Robin pair is still in residence although ranging more widely than last season.

scarlet robin

Kookaburras too are not as common around home as they used to be, so it was good to see two pay a visit for a few hours.

kookaburras


kookaburra

The two Grey Shrike-thrushes are still here too, one that is very confiding is never far away when I’m outside, it’s very partial to a grub from the wood-heap.

grey thrush

Click to enlarge

Winter mothing.

Well, it’s been something of a non event up until now, the bleak weather being a turn off. Three days of warm weather culminating in a brief evening lull in the strong winds gave the impetus for a trip out into the red box country to see what may have been flying. For once I wasn’t alone, Mitch of the Woolenook Native Nursery accompanied me and brought his camera gear. Mitch is involved in photographing the insect pollinators of terrestrial orchids, and at the moment is concentrating on greenhood species that are pollinated by fungus gnat species. The light was soon shining after setting up in the dark, and immediately started to attract small flying insects, among which were, new to me, fungus gnats. The typical y shaped pattern of the forewing veins can be seen in the indiviual pictured.

fungus gnat

I hadn’t been confident of a good night, but as things turned out we photographed a good selection of moths, the first to arrive in the first few minutes being a Nataxa flavescens, somewhat out of season.

nataxa

In July 2012 a mothing night at the Heyfield Golf Course produced male and female Amphiclasta lygaea, a record that extended the known range. I was very interested to see if we could possibly record the species at this site, and in fact we did, the last moth photographed before we packed up due to wind gusts getting stronger. This moth is a Geometrid in the Ennominae sub-family and the only member of the genus.

amphiclasta

The Ennominae were quite well represented on the night with several species coming in, for example this nice female Gastrinodes bitaeniaria.

gastrinodes

In the Noctuidae, Praxis edwardsii was happy to settle on the sheet in contrast to many other moths that preferred the ground.

praxis

One of the larger Lymantrids is the Iropoca moth, Iropoca rotundata.

iropoca moth

Halone sejuncta, one of the footmen, flies for virtually the whole year, a couple came to the sheet.

halone

Winds the next day topped 100 kmh, and subsequently we had cold frosty nights so we timed the trip well.

Click too enlarge.

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