Spotted doves

pair of birds on branch
Spotted Doves, Streptopelia chinensis, high in our paperbark tree

I have been trying for about a year to note all the species of birds in our garden and I am still adding new ones to my list. I saw these two doves fly into the branches of our paperbark tree, only just within reach of my telephoto lens, yesterday. Slater’s Field Guide tells me they are Spotted Turtle-doves and that the species is introduced, not native, and is now a “common resident around cities and large towns … spreading into natural bushland”. The distribution map shows them east and south of the Great Dividing Range from about Cairns to Adelaide, but I don’t think they can (yet) be very common here.

This couple were sidling up to each other like these two amorous Peaceful Doves but they just preened for a while and flew off again. They are, incidentally, quite a lot larger than Peaceful Doves – Slater’s says 27-28cm compared to the Peaceful Doves’ 19-21cm.

Speaking of doves, the dove orchids just outside this room have flowered this morning. I knew without even looking, because I smelt them when I opened the window – a lovely smell but quite strong. These orchids are supposed to predict rain but I have just checked and the other two clumps are not at all interested in flowering. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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