About 30 metres below the Park Avenue gates in Memorial Park at Blackheath is a huge thicket of invasive weeds; blackberries, ivy, scarlet montbretia, red hot pokers etc. A lone Japanese maple struggles to survive in the centre. The irony is that satin bowerbirds, wattle birds and eastern rosellas spend a lot of time feeding here.
The male bowerbirds call in on the way to their bowers, secreted around the park.
Above all, the area has become a paradise for smaller birds. The thick understory offers great protection as they feed on nectar and ripening berries.
Eastern spinebills have the perfect beak length for probing red hot poker flowers.
Montbretia is second choice, but still a good source of nectar.
New Holland Honeyeaters boss the spinebills around, but to be honest there is plenty for everyone.
Tiny silvereyes prefer the blackberries. If only I had known that this one was calling out, ‘Wasp approaching Pauline….beware, beware!’ In my ignorance I continued clicking away as a European wasp made a surprise, unprovoked attack, stinging me below my eye.
Oh good grief, the pain! I have reported her to the council for assault (yes, it’s the females that sting). The silvereye did appear to be regarding me with great sympathy.
On a positive note, sweet tempered honeybees were there in abundance and not causing any trouble at all.
These weeds really have to go, but birds do not discriminate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ plants, native or exotic, especially after bushfires have impacted the area.
FOOTNOTE – We have had so much rain since my last visit that the nectar will be as weak as water and (please, please) the wasps all drowned in their beds!