Whilst waiting to buy a property in the Blue Mountains we are living in Minchinbury, a suburb in western Sydney. Without our usual horticultural activities walking has been our main form of exercise. As well as observing the plants in local gardens we have been watching and recording the birds around the suburb.
There are plenty of introduced species mainly Indian Mynahs, Spotted Doves and the occasional Starling. An interesting observation was a small population of the introduced Red-whiskered Bulbuls They live in an avenue of century old olive trees.
We viewed very few small native birds. One morning an Eastern Spinebill flew over and on another occasion we were happy to see a female Blue Wren. Noisy Miners (see image) were in their usual large suburban numbers. Lorikeets were also plentiful, usually heard rather than seen, in flowering eucalypts. Small numbers of Grass Parrots are often seen on lawns.
Perhaps the most unusual sightings have been Apostle Birds. We are familiar with these gregarious birds from the western areas of NSW. Around Minchinbury they are seen on nature strips. True to their name we saw a flock of 12 flying over one morning. In a nearby lawn cemetery they have become very tame (see image).
Observing the birds both native and exotic adds another dimension to our walks.