Canberra (Australia) – Autumn delivers and April visitors.

I haven’t contributed to The Changing Seasons since December 2021. A lot has happened over the past four months, including health issues, poetry, completion of a major mosaic project and the start of a new front garden. Apart from the health matters, the garden has taken priority because we have to get it in now ahead of the next, inevitable, drought. In the regular garden, we had to abandon the tomatoes and beans to the rodents this year. They have been very hungry (we caught three and Makea, our dog, caught one). Nevertheless, we still managed to harvest three pumpkins from vines we did not plant. The fig tree went bonkers and produced two huge bumper crops. The rodents got stuck into the first crop but we managed to score some figs from the second batch by securing Elizabethan collars around the trunk of the tree to prevent the rats from climbing up the tree. I also collected a small tub of feijoa today, our first ever crop in more than two decades that we have lived at our house in Canberra.

We also had many predators visit, including butcher birds, kookaburras and a kingfisher. One of this season’s three magpie chicks died last year, but two remain and refuse to leave home. The currawong deluge continues. I took to spraying them with the hose because every morning a particularly noisy one would sit in the tree next to our bedroom window and crow louder than any rooster. Plus, they like to eat little birds so I don’t want to encourage them. The crested pigeons sit on our front lawn each day, enjoying a kip, and the wattle birds have been successful parents more than once this season. The various thornbills and the spotted pardalotes have also been regular visitors. But this month belongs to the silvereyes and the eastern spinebills. They have both raised broods nearby and have delighted us with their presence. I think it is time for some photos.

A magpie chick has perfected its warbling. That is our kangaroo grass (Themeda triandra) in the background. It has been lush this year.

My new little garden is doing well. I might re-jig my blog so I can document its progress.

Out back, the salvia has overgrown the garden. There is hardly any room left for people or vegetable gardens, only critters. The pink salvia (not native to Australia) is a favourite with the honeyeaters. I’ve also planted it outside the dog yard but the birds persist in visiting their old haunts.


The spinebills are tricky to photograph in the abundant foliage. Also, they like to visit in the late afternoon when the plants are in deep shade. Although they prefer the backyard, the spinebills have begun visiting the grevilleas in the front yard. The grevilleas will be blooming more profusely over winter. The salvia dies back when the first frosts hit. Unusually, we haven’t had our first frost yet, so the backyard remains a frenzy of activity.

I wish I could show you the parties in the fig tree. You can hear the little silvereyes barnstorming in. They twitter excitedly and swoop and dart from one fig to another. From a distance, the fig tree trembles and shimmers as dozens of silvereyes and the occasional wattlebird bombard it.

This is my response to The Changing Seasons photo challenge, jointly hosted by Ju-Lyn (Touring My Backyard) and Brian (Bushboys World).

I hope you enjoyed seeing my friends. They have been an absolute delight in difficult times. I hope your April was filled with good friends too.

Take care, everyone.
Kind Regards.

About the photos:
The first photo in both the spinebill and silvereye galleries was taken by my True Love. All other photos were taken by me.

36 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – April 2022

  1. A wonderful catch up Changing Seasons Tracy. The Spinebills haven’t arrived here yet but the Silvereyes and to day I saw a lot of little Yellow Thornbills. Aren’t Salvias great for birds and bees. Thanks for joining in 🙂 🙂

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    1. Probably the spinebills are waiting for the frost to get the salvia here before they head your way, Brian. I’m saving your April post for the waiting room this arvo. I do love the salvia. It is so tough and is happy in all conditions once it gets a hold.

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  2. A fantastic look at your space…and time Tracy. The birds are so different there, and you have certainly provided an oasis for them.

    I think you should document your progress on your garden. It would be fun to read about.

    Beautiful, and personable photos of your feathered friends.

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  3. Loved seeing the bird photos and the last 2 Silvereye shots are superb in particular. I also loved seeing the Salvias which reminded me of the old days when I lived next to Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The blurred pink and white salvia looks a bit like Salvia microphylla “Little Kiss”? Do you know if that is correct? My eyesight is failing a bit more.

    I haven’t picked up my camera, or if I did, I missed the shot of the Fairy-wrens on my balcony. Have hardly seen any birds on my balcony this year, although I’ve heard plenty while still in bed. Health issues keep me housebound and rarely on the WordPress Blogasphere still.

    P.S. That’s an excellent shot of the Red Wattlebird too. I assume you get the Little Wattlebird up in Canberra (which doesn’t have the pinkish-red wattles, or earrings, as I call them).

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    1. Vicki, good to hear from you. Thank you. The little birds don’t make it easy to take their photo but the silvereyes pop in several times a day so I have ample time to get at least one nice photo. It got down to 3c degrees last night so the party may soon be over.

      The small salvia is “Hot Lips”. I looked it up and the species name is the one that you mentioned. It is fairly rampant in good times and has gone for quite a wander this year.

      I wish I was nearby to help. It must be disheartening not being able to get out and about. Perhaps you could order some insectivore mix to encourage the wrens to spend a few minutes on your balcony during the day.

      I was quite surprised that the wattlebird didn’t fly off when it realised I was there. I think the birds appreciate that I chase the currawongs away. Btw, we don’t have little wattlebirds here. They do on the coast but not here.


  4. I live vicariously though you, Tracy. One day, I’ll get out of the cities or have my own garden sanctuary. The birds and all the activity you describe sounds delightful. xo

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  5. What a productive and creative time you have had. I’ve totally given up on vegs, too much work for too little return. And I know what you mean about salvias, great survivors. Love all the bird photos.

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  6. I am so happy to view your menagerie of bird friends! I recall I came to your blog years ago because I was captivated by your corvid images & fascination.

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