Yesterday I found my very first Tasman Flax-Lily in this suburb. It was beside the pond (located between Pipemakers Park and Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve).
These tiny blue flowers, appearing in Spring and Summer, are followed by bright violet globular berries. I’m not sure which is prettier, the flower or the berry. But I do know they’re a delicate little flower and quite hard to photograph in the ever-present wind we seem to experience in Melbourne and surrounds.
Dianella tasmanica was first described in 1858 by eminent English botanist and explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker. I first saw the plant in the Royal Botanic Gardens and thought that it was just a weed of some type, but apparently many people grow them in residential gardens.
They are found in the wild from southern New South Wales, through my state of Victoria and down south in the island state of Tasmania on the south-eastern side of Australia.
I’ve only seen the one plant in the year I’ve lived in this western suburb of Maribyrnong, but hope to see some more in the coming days.
I was so busy observing a couple of these male parrots yesterday, hoping they would hop out into the sun (that moment when the sun reflects in a bird’s eye making a good photo), I didn’t realise several birds were gradually working their way towards my back.
Over the years, I have learned to move very slowly and wear black, or very dark, colours when out on a bird Photography field trip, so as I turned (to walk up to the Pipemakers Park historic garden), I was able to catch a couple of males from about 7-8 feet away.
I never did catch a shot of this species with the spot of sunlight on their eye yesterday.
For the first time ever, the males were on their own, grazing in the flat newly mown field between Pipemakers Park and Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve. I’ve only ever seen couples grazing – with the plainer olive-coloured female being a little harder to see in this location. They were only grazing in the deep shade of some Eucalyptus trees so I’ve lightened these images so you can see them a bit better.
I naturally assume the females were at home sitting on nests?
…..and for those new to my Nature Blog, here’s a couple of old images made when I lived on the north-eastern side of Melbourne in Abbotsford (next to the Yarra River).
Different light and different camera as you can see. I seem to remember they were grazing in the sun on this particular day, not shade.
…..and the first time I ever saw these lovely Parrots was in the Royal Botanic Gardens in 2012 – in the shade of a few old trees on the western side of the large Ornamental Lake.
There are actually 5-6 Australian Parrots that are fairly similar in feather colour, but this Red-rumped variety have a lovely warbling song – unusual for parrots.