Parts of Australia have been suffering through an appalling heatwave. Not just the occasional day over 40 degrees C, but here, where I live, sustained heat through several days, reaching up around the 114F mark. Too hot!
It's been remarkable and horrible, with difficulty sleeping, catastrophic bushfire conditions, worries about elderly and ill friends who don't handle the heat well, and trouble for those who lost power. One of the other side effects was that we saw much more of our other neigbours - the ones who don't live in the neighbouring houses, but who live in the gardens and bush that surround us. In particular, we saw a lot more of the birds who usually live high in the trees when they came down looking for shade and water. The poor things were suffering with the heat and it was great hearing from other people how they made water available for their furred and winged neighbours too.
Here's one we rarely get a glimpse of. Usually it sleeps during the day and only comes out at night. It's a tawny frogmouth owl that spends its time, when not hunting, blending in with the tree trunks, trying to look like a stick.
Here he is a little closer. He's got his eyes closed but when they're open they're large and orange!
This fellow spent two afternoons on the fence by our pool, enjoying a patch of deep shade. Late in the day I turned the hose onto a gentle spray and he fluffed himself up to about 3 times his size then spread his wings at odd angles, catching the water and cooling himself off. Sadly I couldn't film him and shower him at the same time!
So, in the spirit of sharing, here are some photos of some other neighbours - taken near a relative's house.
We get these noisy rainbow lorikeets at our home too, as well as eastern rosellas (which are thankfully much quieter), kookaburras, magpies, noisy mynas, currawongs and occasionally beautiful small falcons. We also get a couple of different types of possum and fruit bats who love our flowering plants and fight us for the pick of our vege garden!
I'm not sure if you can make this one out. It's an inquisitive little green tree snake (harmless and not venomous) leaning down to peer beneath a verandah roof. Its head is in the centre of the photo and it's looking a little to your left. You can see its right eye. We don't get many tree snakes at my house but we've had red belly blacks as well as browns and small marsh snakes. Fortunately they don't seem to want to meet us almost as much as we don't want to meet them. We also have blue tongue lizards who like to bask in the late afternoon sun. They help keep the population of snails down.
Finally, what would a post about Aussie wildlife be without kangaroos. In this case, yes, kangaroos in a suburban street. Not mine but not that far away. This family group (dad, mum and junior) were alert but not too bothered by people.
What feathered, furred or scaled neighbours do you have? Are they ones you enjoy having visit or are they ones you'd rather avoid?
OMG Annie- you have such an amazing array of interesting (and scary) wildlife!!! I'm visiting Adelaide and Barossa in March and, to be honest, a little freaked out by it all!!!ReplyDelete
As for here, well, we don't have anything that could kill you but we do have a cat that comes across from the neighbours, wanders into the house and eats our cats' food! I'd prefer if he/she didn't because it freaks my poor wee babies out! Sometimes we get little skinks (tiny little lizardy things) running up the outside wall which are very cute.
Louisa, truly our wildlife always sounds much worse than it is. The dangerous ones are usually the ones that don't want to be around you. You're going to have a wonderful time in South Australia. Hope you hear some kookaburras while you're visiting.Delete
We get little skinks too. I wonder if they're the same as you. I bet they're scared of the cat. He must be very sure of himself to invade your house that way.
Annie, I have been thinking of you during this awful heat wave on the mainland. I'm feeling quite smug about living in Tasmania but I know I shouldn't be too complacent as things can change so quickly in summer.ReplyDelete
We have echidnas and blue tongue lizards and wallabies and possums and heaps of birdlife at our beach house where I've been spending most of my time this summer. Oh and dolphins, of course!
Melanie, I've seen the Tasmanian temps and yes, I've been a bit jealous. Right now I'm enjoying the cooler weather but who knows how long it will last.Delete
What a great array of animals you get. I love echidnas! I used to see them when we lived further inland and they always made me smile. Enjoy your summer at the beach house. That sounds just heavenly.
Hi Annie - great pictures, although the idea of the kangaroos right in the neighborhood seems a little scary to a Californian ;-). We have wild turkeys the last few years. Don't bother anybody except wander around, come up on your front porch, poop on your driveway. And because we have a pond we see a lot of the Great Blue Heron. Beautiful, majestic, totally huge and scary bird. And not intimidated by anything. Makes me think this is what pterodactyls must have looked like.ReplyDelete
Hi Grandma Cootie! Believe me, it's very unusual to see kangaroos in a suburb. That photo was taken in a new one and they probably wouldn't hang around.ReplyDelete
Wow, wild turkeys sound exotic. I must look up your Great Blue Heron. We get a blue heron on the lake but it's not that big!
The lorikeets are so pretty. All we get here are crows, hawks, egrets and an occasional bald eagle every couple of years. Here in Orlando about 12 years ago we had a severe drought and brush fires during most of July. I live on the outer edges of Orlando, so there was plenty of areas around us to burn. I remember having gone thru 2 sets of windshield wipers due to the floating ash, and my front windshield had to be replaced in the fall because it was so scratched that at night the oncoming car headlights would make it hard to see with the light refracting. The closest fire was probably 10 miles from us, but the air quality was so smokey and dusty for those few weeks. Don't wish that on anyone. Would love to see a Kangaroo ( or a hop doggie, as my nephew called them) come down the street! All we get are opossums and the occasional armadillo. Stay safe!ReplyDelete
Laurie, I had to laugh when you said 'all we get are...'. I'd adore to see an armadillo in the wild. Or a bald eagle.Delete
Gee, those fires sound terrible. I'd never thought of the damage to windscreen wipers from the ash!
Hope you get to see kangaroos one day.
Love those photos we do have some very nice and different animals and bird life here in Australia. We too get a lot of Lorikeets our neighbours have a couple of apple trees that they love as well as the fruit bats at night and boy are they noisy we have Rosellas as well and lots of magpies and they certainly emptied the dogs water bowl a couple of times over those hot days :)
Helen, I bet the birds emptied all the water bowls. Hasn't it been hot? I love the variety of birds we get here. So many interesting ones!Delete
the photos that you put are beautiful. They really like the kangaroo family and the lochiretti, are so beautiful with all those colors !!
Where I live there are blackbirds, magpies, owls which are very beautiful, in winter there are the robins. Then there are the domestic animals, dogs and cats.
Normally I like, except when I wake up at night when the dogs bark, or the birds begin to sing.
Franca, I'm so pleased you liked the photos.Delete
Yes, there are plenty of domestic animals here too. Fortunately there's not much barking at night though sometimes the birds start far too early. I'd love to see your robins. I think your magpies are different to ours.
Hi Annie, we have possums which live on our roof. They clatter across the tin sounding like a company of soldiers and drive my husband crazy - but I rather like it. :) We live close to the harbour so we also get lots of birds - lorikeets, ravens and currawongs, the occasional kookaburra and at night lots of bats. We even once saw an owl!ReplyDelete
Hi Laura. The possums at our place wear hobnail boots when they cross the roof, I'm sure, and they used to jump especially hard when they reached the verandah roof, which is metal. :) Sounds like you've got a lot of visitors to enjoy!Delete
Great snaps, Annie!ReplyDelete
We get the usual array of Aussie birdlife here which is lovely unless its 5am and they're all screeching their heads off and waking me up!
Get the occasional slithery thing but mostly they stay away :-)
Haven't seen a kangaroo around here since we first bought the land in 2000. And we used to have wild hares in the surrounding properties but haven't seen one of them in years either!
Ooh we do get lots of gheckos! They keep me company on the screen at night as I write, eating all the moths that are attracted to the light in my office!Delete
They are FAT little creatures!
Amy, I'm not sure I could concentrate with a lizard snapping at moths as I write! Company though! Yes, isn't it good when the slithery types stay away? I'm not fond of them. Hey, I haven't seen a hare in years. They used to be active where we lived a long time ago. I'd forgotten.Delete
Annie, like you we have a huge array of bird life. Mind you, when the sulfur-crested cockatoos and kookaburras start up at daybreak, I'll often pull a pillow over my head.ReplyDelete
The possums and the fruit bats used to do battle in an old cocos palm we used to have, which was always entertaining.
So far this season I haven't seen either the little green tree snakes that occasionally frequent our front veranda or the red belly black snake that allegedly lives in our back yard. And I can live with that.
We also have hornets the size of jets! I like to give them a wide berth. ;-)
Oh, those hornets. I know the ones you mean. Scary! Our kookaburras have been having early mornings lately but give the heat later I can forgive them, but yes, sometimes you just want to keep sleeping. Laughing here at the idea of a bat/possum battle, Michelle!Delete
Oh I remember having rosellas around when I was back home. Beautiful birds! (and this comes from someone who's not the biggest bird fan...thanks to Magpies).ReplyDelete
Around here we get a lot of squirrels and chipmunks, which are endlessly fascinating! They have so much personality. I saw my first racoon a while back too. They're a little scary!
Hi Stef. I love squirrels! We used to live in Germany and I found them fascinating. They have a very interesting way of moving. Would love to see chipmunks and racoons. Sigh. How interesting that racoons are a little scary. I hadn't realised.Delete