Migratory Black swans are back on Russell Island

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
The birds are entirely black except for the white outer flight feathers of the wings, with an orange to dark red beak. The white eye becomes red during breeding season. The cygnets (chicks) are covered with light grey down. Males grow about 1.3 metres long and females grow to 1.2 metres. Females also have slightly shorter necks than males
 Black Swans have a trumpet-like call.
Black Swans predominantly occur in the southeast and southwest of Australia, live throughout
southern Australia, extending south to Tasmania and north to Townsville in Queensland and Port Headland in Western Australia
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.The black swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird, a species of swan, which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. The species was hunted to extinction in New Zealand, but later reintroduced. Within Australia they are nomadic, with erratic migration patterns dependent upon climatic conditions. Black swans are large birds with mostly black plumage and red bills. They are monogamous breeders that share incubation duties and cygnet rearing between the sexes.

The black swan utters a musical and far reaching bugle-like sound, called either on the water or in flight, as well as a range of softer crooning notes. It can also whistle, especially when disturbed while breeding and nesting.[2][4]

When swimming, black swans hold their necks arched or erect, and often carry their feathers or wings raised in an aggressive display. In flight, a wedge of black swans will form as a line or a V, with the individual birds flying strongly with undulating long necks, making whistling sounds with their wings and baying, bugling or trumpeting calls.[2]



Blue eyed Honeyeater collecting Material for their nest


I have planted these lovely hanging baskets, and the birds are pulling the coir to use to line their nests. I am not sure if they are making a new one or simply rehashing a nest they have from the past.

The Blue-faced Honeyeater is a large honeyeater with patch of blue skin around the eye. It has black head … Often nests in abandoned nests of other birds – they usually add to the nest and reline it. Sometimes they build a new nest which is a round cup of rough bark, linked with finer bark and grass. Two or three eggs are laid.


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How wonderful to be able to find such perfect nest building material in my garden…


Family: Meliphagidae – Honeyeaters

The Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris) is one of two species of the genus Melithreptus endemic to Tasmania. The strong-billed honeyeater is found in mature forest with large trees such as Eucalyptus regnans and E. delegatensis.

A mid-sized honeyeater at 16.5–17.5 cm (6.5–7 in) in length, it is olive brown above and pale grey brown below, with a black head, nape and throat white patch over the eye and a white crescent-shaped patch on the nape.

Its diet is principally insects and various other invertebrates, which it hunts on tree trunks, supplemented by nectar and fallen fruit.

Ducks…Pacific Black Duck.. Anas superciliosa.. Anatidae


Marguerite Carstairs


Marguerite Carstairs 

This sociable duck is found in a variety of wetland habitats, and its nesting habits are much like those of the Mallard, which is encroaching on its range in New Zealand.[2] It feeds by upending, like other Anas ducks.

It has a dark body, and a paler head with a dark crown and facial stripes. In flight, it shows a green speculum and pale underwing. All plumages are similar. The size range is 54–61 cm; males tend to be larger than females

   Marguerite Carstairs

The Pacific Black Duck is very common and widespread throughout Australia. It is easily distinguished by black face stripes. Black Ducks sometimes interbreed with introduced Mallards creating hybrid birds


Marguerite Carstairs

Despite being predominantly brown, the Pacific Black Duck has always been known as the ‘black duck’. Its only black plumage is a bold stripe that runs across the bird’s face, from its bill to behind its eye, giving it a distinctively striking pattern. It has been claimed that the duck appears as though it is black when seen at a distance.


Marguerite Carstairs

Groups of ducks frequent the islands after the rains. They usually scrounge the grasses and vacant blocks seeking seeds and insects and though ducks can be damaging, these ducks seem to stay in the wastelands and seldom come into gardens and garden beds. They do not get friendly, even when fed, and run off when approached.

Marguerite Carstairs

The Pacific Black Duck is mainly vegetarian, feeding on seeds of aquatic plants. This diet is supplemented with small crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic insects. Food is obtained by ‘dabbling’, where the bird plunges its head and neck underwater and upends, raising its rear end vertically out of the water. Occasionally, food is sought on land in damp grassy areas.

Marguerite Carstairs

Mating in Pacific Black Ducks coincides with availability of sufficient food and water, and often with the onset of heavy rains or when waterways are at their peaks. Courtship is accompanied by ritualized displays including preening, bobbing and wing-flapping.

Marguerite Carstairs

Masked Plover…Masked Lapwing


The Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles), previously known as the Masked Plover and often called the Spur-winged Plover or just Plover in its native range, is a large, common and conspicuous bird native to Australia, particularly the northern and eastern parts of the continent. It spends most of its time on the ground searching for food such as insects and worms and has several distinctive callsIMG_3314

A Masked Lampwing Plover (Vanellus miles)


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Masked Lapwings are most common around the edges of wetlands and in other moist, open environments, but are adaptable and can often be found in surprisingly arid areas.[2] They can also be found on beaches and coastlines.

Masked Lapwings are shy and harmless in summer and autumn but are best known for their bold nesting habits, being quite prepared to make a nest on almost any stretch of open ground, including suburban parks and gardens, school ovals, and even supermarket carparks and flat rooftops. They can be particularly dangerous at airports where their reluctance to move from their nesting area – even for large aircraft – has resulted in several bird strikes.[3] Breeding usually happens after Winter Solstice (June 21), but sometimes before. The nesting pair defends their territory against all intruders by calling loudly, spreading their wings, and then swooping fast and low, and where necessary striking at interlopers with their feet and attacking animals on the ground with a conspicuous yellow spur on the carpal joint of the wing.