Tag Archives: yard

Black Cockies

Calyptorhynchus funereus

I used to think that a black cockie was a black cockie, it turns out that the name is a general descriptive term for several species of cockatoos with black colouring.

The cockies that visit my yard are Yellow tailed black cockatoos. For the last few years they’ve been turning up for just 1 day, chowing down on Banksia flowers, gnawing off many small branches, and then flying out not to be seen for another year.

Yellow tailed black cockatoos are big, noticeably bigger than the Sulphur-crested Cockatoos that are here year round. They have black feathers all over with a yellow patch on the cheek and the tail.

A Yellow tailed black cockie on the clothes line. They visit once a year to attack the Banksia trees, this year it was August 5th


Black cockie eating a Banksia flower

Resources and References

Red-browed Finch

Neochmia temporalis

The Red-browed Finch is a spot on name for these guys, the other thing to add is they are small and they are fast! Red-browed finches enjoy hanging out in the garden near to the ground where there’s good cover from scrub and small trees. I’ve not seen them flying in the sky or anywhere in the open where there’s no cover. There’s a prunus tree in the backyard that they build a nest or 3 every year. Their nests are made from twigs, tightly woven into an enclosed ball shape with one small doorway.

Red-browed Finches are a common bird that are found up the entire east coast of Australia. They are found in grassy areas interspersed with dense understorey vegetation, often along creek lines.

Red-browed Finch
Red-browed Finch. This guy’s beak looks a bit like a big human nose

Resources and References

Rock Orchid

Dendrobium speciosum

“A spectacular epiphytic orchid with stout swollen pseudobulbs..” – NPOS p.262

While I’m on the topic of orchids these Rock Orchids grow on several rocks in the front yard. Like the Tongue Orchid they too are hardy plants ( you would have to be to survive in my garden ! ) and survive hot dry summers perched on the rocks with no watering. They are supposedly rare in the Sydney area so I wonder if they were planted by a previous owner.

Rock Orchid
Rock Orchid growing on a ( you guessed it ) rock

Resources and references

Coral Fungus

Coral Fungus

This unusual looking fungus was growing in the back yard on a rotting tree stump in amongst some dense Fishbone fern. It’s another thing in the backyard that I’ve never noticed before, or more likely have seen and just forgotten.

After a bit of searching around on Google images I think it’s a type of coral fungus.

Coral Fungus
Coral Fungus $2 AUD for scale
Coral Fungus close up