Free walking tours are conducted by volunteers twice a day at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney. They start at the Information booth just outside the shop, more or less in the middle of the Garden, and last between one and a half and two hours. Notable bird sightings are posted on the whiteboard at the booth. On the day of my visit, the presence of a Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) at the RBG was indicated, and in the course of the tour we visited the tree in which the bird roosted.
The Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis moluccus) is really not one of my favourite birds. When viewed close up they are pretty grubby. They have this horrible featherless head and neck. The trees in which they nest turn white from their droppings. They have a habit of following rubbish trucks to the dump for a feed, and they have been moving into many suburbs including mine. I hate to think about what they’re leaving on my roof to be washed into the rainwater tanks.
But! When viewed at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney they seem much more benign. They don’t appear to have destroyed any of the palm trees by crapping in their crowns. Yet.
I grow Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus) for my rabbit Bertie. There’s an awful lot of it, and it grows too fast to keep under control in summer when it becomes a prolific flowerer. The scapes grow several centimetres a day, and before you know it the raised beds are full of scraggly droopy stems with lovely blue flowers and almost no leaves.
The flowers attract members of the local European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony, important pollinators of crops, garden plants (and weeds), and then I have a photo-op!
[Click on individual photos to embiggen].
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One of the houses in the neighbourhood has a pair of cypresses that bears fruit almost every year. If there is a bumper crop like the one that happened in 2011 (alas, no pix) the trees will, at some point in the nut-ripening cycle, attract an entire flock of Little Corellas (Cacatua sanguinea) which will then hang from the branches and leaves like strange, large, off-white/pinkish fruit. Said spectacle is frequently accompanied by noise and mess.