We love our chooks – they live in a palace and create the most magnificent composted soil for the garden – and most days they lay two eggs – some days none but mostly 2!
We have bird baths and feeders at Uccello Lane – no point attracting birds with nothing to feed them with or on. Mainly it is the plants they come for – the Coroes outside our window or bottlebrush (callistemon) out the front.
Up in the top corner with the mushrooms is a birdbath made in the Edna Walling style – it is very popular and gets filled often Both the kookaburras and the magpies patrol this area as the worms seem to be on steroids.
On the bank there is a bird feed which we have used a hollow log my dad had adapted for his aviary – we call it the “Ned Kelly” feeder. Hopefully a parrot may build a nest in it but it is exposed there so maybe not for a while. This area is frequented by the King Parrot and the Yellow Tailed Parrot.
The Eastern Rosella is especially vividly coloured — red and yellow and blue and green and black patterns. When rosellas are feeding on the ground among the grass or perched in the trees they can be very difficult to see – despite their bright colours.
The video below shows them eating some bread they bravely got out of the chook pen.
The Crimson Rosella’s have been gradually making their way to be included in the feeding on the front deck.
Lets not be mistaken though the Lorikeets still own the space, try to take on the King Parrot and will not tolerate Pidgeons, Doves, White Cockatoos etc.
A Crimson Rosella started eating the left overs from the King Parrot and with the Lorikeets nowhere he stayed for ages. There are two of them nesting high up in one of the gum trees but they rarely venture down – preferring the berries and correos tree.
Once the Rosella started eating it was clear excellent manners were at play – putting the seed in his mouth with his foot in a sort of reverse scissor action and all the time staring through the window as if to say..”I know you are there…!
The Rosella stayed for a while then yes – you guessed it the Lorikeets arrived back along with the King Parrots and a couple of doves.
Breakfast was over!
The lorikeets run the show for the bird population at Uccello Lane. Every bird feeder, bird bath, railing, perch is their’s – even if they are just flying by they will take time out to scare of the “intruder”. They “own the tree” out the front of the balcony and will tolerate others using it but that’s all. They are acrobatic and expect to be fed and have their special “nectar” water always available. The White Cockatoo would like to have some of this action and even though a much bigger bird it makes no difference – the Lorikeets are fearless. They have their baths and then sit and dry in the sun.
We have two favorites called Luigi and Ted – they come each morning to the balcony and “peer” in to check on what’s happening. That means some seed – not just any seed, the good stuff – the Sunflower seed!
These birds have yellow patches on their cheeks – and we prefer to call them the Yellow Cheeked Black Cockatoo as it is very distinctive and makes them look a bit like a clown.
They are very noisy eaters of native trees which have nuts or berries and screech to each other. Large and almost hawke like in size they are a favorite at Uccello Lane as they travel in packs and swoop then fly of to the distance.
The King Parrots are gentler, shyer birds who will eat food from your hand. They visit each day and call out as soon as they arrive.
They gather on the bbq and wait – they sing and appear to “stare” at you till food is produced. Their feathers really are magnificent in color and seemingly different on each bird.
The garden… viewed from the study, the craft room or the conservatory we call “the bank”. It is always on show – it is blossoming, blooming with flowers and birds – but it was not always this way – in fact the exact opposite!.So in early days of Uccello Lane – Heather Allen was given this task – a cottage garden on “the bank” please!
First we had to clear away the existing trees and weeds. Trav’s Trees came with their chainsaws and this was the first of many visits to maintain and manage trees at Uccello Lane.
A cottage garden was planted so that the view out was like a picture. Within 6 months the bank was covered with flowers and greenery. A bird feeder was installed and the yellow cheeked black cockatoo and King Parrots became regular visitors.
The Kookaburras are always here – they laugh and laugh at all times of the day and night. They happily sit beside you in the garden – ever ready for a worm or whatever.
One of my favorites is the “sleeping Kooka” – probably because he was awake at 4.00am in the morning – laughing and needs to catch up at during the day.
They are very alert, self contained birds – with beautiful Blue feather tips on the underside of the wings – very close to my favorite color.
We arrived at Uccello Lane in September 2012 and the garden was lush and green – overgrown but ready for work.
As the summer approached we were mindful that the growth had to be cleared back – in case of snakes and the like. Also we were constantly discovering plants hidden under trees or being strangled by natives left to overtake some areas. Six huge skips were filled quickly as we kept going deeper and deeper into the garden.
An amazing irrigation system was found plus there were at least 4 big water tanks which were filled from the runoff from the roof. Both these were a blessing in this first summer.