A New Holland honeyeater made the most of early-flowering crimson bottlebrushes in a cottage garden one fine spring day. The honeyeater chirped with excitement as it flitted from flower to flower, dipping its head between the spiky petals. Golden pollen clung to its black-and-white head so it looked like a different species. A larger and more aggressive yellow wattlebird watched what the new holland was up to and muscled in, out to claim the pollen and nectar treasure as … [Read more...] about A battle in the bottlebrushes
On The Wing
Passport to birdland
Birdland is a magical place where it’s possible to escape all the pressures and stresses of the environment of the city created and inhabited by one species – humans – and immerse yourself in a less one-dimensional world. Birdland is nowhere in particular, and does not have to be special or noteworthy. It could be in the wildest of wild forest, or in suburbia. It could be a pristine beach, a few hectares of eucalypt woodland, or a neatly manicured city park. It could be a backyard. That’s the magic of birds; they bring beauty and wonder to every corner of the planet, wild or untamed, and my On the Wing writing is their celebration.
A bunch of red and yellow roses had been placed near the base of the Silver Falls just above Fern Tree. Such tributes are usually to be found on war memorials spread throughout the country on Remembrance Day, November 11 and it was puzzling to find picked flowers at this beautiful location. The falls had in an instant become a shrine but in honour of whom for what? Remembrance Day had been in my thoughts because 24 hours previously, on an outing to Richmond, I had seen … [Read more...] about A tranquil place to yearn for
The beauty of bird-watching is that, besides the birds, you meet all sort of unlikely people in the most unlikely of circumstances. It so happened on the first day of the Aussie Bird Count last month when an elderly woman walking the Lower Pipeline track in Dynnyrne stopped to asked me what I was looking at through my binoculars. “Green rosella,” I said, pointing to a nest box installed at the Fantail Quarry picnic site along the track just below the Waterworks Reserve. No … [Read more...] about Bird box houses memories of childhood
Each month a butterfly flits and futters through the pages of Simon Grove’s natural history, Seasons in the South, providing an apt metaphor for a journey across a widespread and over-changing Tasmanian terrain. The butterfly of the month travels high and low, interacting with myriad lifeforms on the way. It not only experiences the wonders of flora and fauna but weaves the natural world into a rich tapestry of Tasmania’s wildlife from the tiniest insects, to soaring … [Read more...] about Spirit of Gondwana hangs in the air
Switching off the television news one evening with its horrors of the Israel-Gaza and Ukraine wars, I took myself to the Hobart Rivulet Park to indulge in the soothing power of nature and my latest pre-occupation – platypus watching. My heart sank, however, at the sight of a different kind of upheaval laid out before me. An overnight mega-storm had washed what looked like a tonne of litter from the Hobart tip into the watercourse. I’ve long marvelled how the platypus have … [Read more...] about Platypus lost in a sea of trash