From here and there.

The native garden in autumn is still colourful with some very nice plants in flower, for example this crowea which we believe is Cane’s hybrid.

One of our newest grevilleas used to be known as Grevillea thelemanniana var. preissii, but has been raised to specific rank, Grevillea preissii, with two sub species,  preissii, and glabrilimba. The garden plant is the latter, and is coming into flower for the first time with beautiful pendent clusters of delicate red flowers.

Kunzea baxteri is also flowering, providing a source of nectar for the honeyeaters. New Holland honeyeaters are very vigilant and at the first hint of danger their alarm calls fill the air. At the time this one was keeping an eye out for bullying Red Wattlebirds.

On occasion though there can be a greater threat. The Australian Hobby, a speedy hunter is occasionally seen locally, slicing through the air during daylight hours, but they like to hunt at dusk. Just before dark a bird was seen in silhouette perched high on the television antenna, and the shape invited closer attention than just a casual glance. Inspection through binoculars prompted another trip inside for the camera with zoom lens and speedlight mounted, which resulted in this picture of an Australian Hobby. The bird was quite relaxed, and blood visible on a talon indicates that it had recently killed and eaten.

With the onset of  colder weather spiders are harder to find. This jumping spider has now disappeared after living for a time in its retreat silked between two leaves of the Sydney Waratah.

While waiting for moths to come to the sheet, a wander in the bush with a torch can be productive. This tiny orb-weaver was the only spider seen in late May and it made an interesting photographic subject. The web, built between two Golden Wattle phyllodes is only about 60 mm top to bottom, and the spider is about 3 mm. It was extremely difficult to photograph and this image is a composite of three shots using flash and torch light for separate exposures.

The spider.

On another branch, probably an assassin bug species.

Back at the moth sheet, encountered and photographed for the first time a lanternfly.

And finally, a lacewing species.

Click images to enlarge.


As the weather becomes colder, general nature photos are getting harder to come by, but the seeking eye can still discover subjects of interest. A wander at Bellbird Corner with the macro lens on the camera gave one opportunity on the little native geraniums that are still in flower. Native bees are hard to find now but honey bees are still at work.

Natural approach grafting is not uncommon on red gums, this example is on one of the venerable old trees in the north of the reserve.

The 100 mm macro lens is not what you’d normally use for bird photography, but if you can get close enough it can suffice. Unusually, these two White-faced Herons on the habitat tree allowed an approach close enough to produce an acceptable picture.

In the garden, the waratah is looking good with seven flower buds fattening up. This jumping spider thought it was a good place to build its retreat.

With many of the grevilleas having a flowering pause at this time of the year, hakeas and correas have been providing nectar for the honeyeaters, and now the Kunzea baxteri is coming into flower to supplement that supply.

Depending on the weather, native birds in the garden can be either scarce or plentiful, one afternoon it was the latter, when the tree tops were alive with small birds like this Yellow Thornbill that’s losing a wing feather.

Sulphur-cresteds are always about though, this one was perched on the TV antenna one morning possibly contemplating a glide down into the paddock for a breakfast of weed seeds.

Click pictures to enlarge.