One Water Dragon – no backyard birdsTuesday, 8 December 2015
Usually around this time of year a bird nests in my house’s courtyard, it’s been blackbirds (which are not a native Australian bird) these past couple of years. They’re often nesting in October and sometimes raise more than one brood. One year I noted the chicks’ departure from their nest on New Year’s Day. This year the favoured nesting spot hasn’t been touched, the usual wattle birds have been appearing in the courtyard, tempted by the flowers there, but there’s been no nesting activity.
Outside there’s been plenty of bird activity including noisy cockatoos and an ongoing war between feisty little wagtails and intruding kookaburras, exactly the same activity that I noted in a My Backyard Birds posting a couple of years ago.
▲ This year I’ve also got a backyard dragon, it’s a Gippsland Water Dragon (well perhaps it’s an Eastern Water Dragon), a very handsome fellow, probably about 40cm long. It posed for me on a 400 mm paving tile so it was easy to estimate its length. Fully grown water dragons can grow up to a metre in length and weigh a kilogram. They can – as their name suggests – swim and can stay submerged for over an hour. Cats and kookaburras are water dragon predators and although they’re shy they will get used to humans. My dragon seems relaxed about my presence, it even gave me time to fetch my camera and return to take photos and I’ve seen it again on another occasion.
▲ It was much smaller than the Komodo dragons I visited a month ago.