These last few weeks, our native gardens here at Yuruga have burst into bloom and our grevilleas are alive with birds all shapes, sizes and colours. In fact, each grevillea bush is a mini-ecosystem in its own right.
You can be guaranteed to see plump Yellow Honeyeaters and the melodious Brown Honeyeaters every day of the year. They love the grevillea flowers and the feast of nectar they provide, and when there’s no flowers (which isn’t often) they’re kept busy foraging for insects in amongst the branches and foliage. Honeyeaters are a brilliant natural pest control.
White-throated Honeyeaters and Black-chinned Honeyeaters come and go, happy to share the flowers and the bird bath. Not so the larger, noisier Blue-faced Honeyeaters, glossy black Spangled Drongos and flocks of screeching Lorikeets which swoop in from time to time, sending the other birds scattering.
And occasionally we’ll see a Lewin’s Honeyeater in our grevilleas – quite exciting for us as they are a bit unusual in Walkamin’s dry climate, normally preferring the higher rainfall habitats.
Shortly the glorious Red-winged Parrots will return to breed in the exact same grevillea plants they have visited for years, and the lovely Pale-headed Rosellas will be fossicking around on the ground picking at the seeds that drop when the flowers finish.
But the real joy is the arrival of the Scarlet Honeyeaters. These absolutely beautiful birds light up our world with flashes of brilliant scarlet-red as they work through the flowers in search of nectar. As quiet as can be, these gorgeous unassuming little birds are simply delightful to watch. Nature at it’s most wonderful.
So what grevilleas to plant? They’re all beautiful, just select a flower colour … orange (Grevillea pteridifolia, Honey Gem), yellow (Sandra Gordon), pink (Misty Pink, Pink Surprise), salmon (Kay Williams, Caloundra Gem, Caboolture), white (Moonlight), red (Grevillea banksii, Robyn Gordon, Superb, Ned Kelly).
So… plant a grevillea and get a whole ecosystem!
See you at Yuruga, and bring your binoculars for a spot of bird-watching!
Peter and Ann