Birds in my new Townsville garden

Rainbow Lorikeets and Blue-faced Honeyeaters
Rainbow Lorikeets and Blue-faced Honeyeaters feeding on a palm flower

One of the reasons for the long gap in activity on Green Path was that we were moving house. We are still in Mundingburra, and still between Ross River and Ross River Road, but our new garden is quite different so it will attract different birds and insects.

The new garden is dominated by palms instead of huge mango, poplar gum and paperbark trees. Someone removed trees to plant a wide variety of palms at least twenty years ago, and some of them have been allowed to self-seed since then, so we have far more than we need – even after getting a dozen removed.

The under-storey includes Happy Plants (Dracaena Fragrans), Mock Orange (Murraya paniculata), Ponytails (Beaucarnea recurvata), Prickly Duranta (Duranta erecta), cycads and agaves; they all seem to be survivors of a garden which was replanted in the 1970s or 80s and but has been periodically neglected since then. Our neighbours have huge old mango trees and (variously) a Black Bean, a Jakfruit, a Burdekin Plum, eucalypts and more palms, so birds are not short of perches or nesting sites. On the other hand, the deficiency of shrubbery and native flowers makes the garden less welcoming to sunbirds and small honeyeaters.

So far we have seen …

  • Blue-faced Honeyeater
  • White-gaped Honeyeater
  • Little Friarbird
  • Feral pigeon
  • Peaceful Dove
  • Rainbow Lorikeet
  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  • Figbird
  • Peewit
  • Mynah
  • Great Bowerbird
  • Magpie
  • White Ibis
  • Curlew
  • Sacred Kingfisher
  • Rainbow Bee-eater
  • Spice Finches

They are all familiar species and are already documented on this page of birds seen in our previous garden, so I will just add a few more photos to complete this post.

Australasian Figbirds
Figbirds (male on left, female or juvenile on right)

Nectar-feeders are attracted to the flowering of our palm trees but fruit-feeders like these Australasian Figbirds (Sphecotheres vieilloti) are attracted to the fruit.

Indian Mynahs
A flock (perhaps a family group) of Mynas feeding on the nature strip
Sacred Kingfisher
The washing line isn’t the most beautiful background, but it does remind us how small the Sacred Kingfisher is

19 thoughts on “Birds in my new Townsville garden”

  1. Pacific Baza (Crested Hawk) in my neighbour’s mango tree yesterday. I thought I saw one a few days ago, too, in the other neighbour’s mango tree but I wasn’t sure.
    Crow flying through our airspace this morning.

  2. Cuckoo-shrike – either a White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina papuensis, or an immature Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina novaehollandiae – they are very similar, as this old post shows.

    Black Ibis (its “proper” common name is “Straw-necked Ibis” but we usually think of the ibises as simply white or black). Whatever it’s called in English, it’s Threskiornis spinicollis in Latin and one of them perched on a high bare branch of a neighbouring tree for at least half an hour.

  3. Sparrows. A pair visited our neglected back lawn for the grass seeds to be found there.
    Sparrows are finches, of course, although we don’t usually think of them as such, and finches are seed-eaters.

  4. Magpie Geese, often heard in the early morning and seen by an early riser. We seem to be on their flight path from wherever they spend the night (presumably somewhere further up Ross River) and where they spend the day feeding (perhaps Anderson Park) judging by their flight direction.

    1. Magpie Geese again, this time in the late afternoon. Several small groups were flying overhead and one group of half a dozen paused for a while in the top of our neighbours’ gum tree, possibly because it’s the highest tree in the vicinity.
      Some of them seemed to be browsing on the leaves but it was hard to tell how serious that was – whether it was an experimental nibble or a proper meal. See a photo here.

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