I’ve been through my notes since the New Year, focusing primarily on the female. We clearly have a new female, but I’m not convinced this is the same bird photographed by Clare in February as the ‘diamond’ spotted on this bird has not been so apparent on later sightings. Hard to be sure, however – different angles produce different appearance.
Swift has been observed sleeping in the box until April 9/10th and then has made sporadic visits, but no more lying in the box.
The evidence of the new bird is very strong:
no limp and generally much sprightlier
no more clumsy landings
appeared more agitated, though less so now
lands on the outside ledge first
often looks around (at least when she first appeared)
different chest spot patterns
deeper neck streak
different courting behaviour (more interested!)
brings prey to box
grabs at pebbles
noticed walking backwards around box
when present, does not come in box at night, but sits on ledge
These are all behaviours not usually observed in Swift.
So it would appear that we have had two females around for some months, although it’s not set in concrete that this is the same new female each time. And Swift is still around, but clearly not using the box much now. If I see her on my walks, I’ll let you know.
I still quite like the name ‘Diamond’ but am open to suggestions _ I’ll probably put a few names to our staff for a vote. If you wish to email me direct, it’s ckinross(at)csu.edu.au.
I’ll do another update on our male next week, but, apart from possible visitors, it still seems to be our ‘streak’. Alternative name is the Wiradjuri for ‘two’ BULA. or could be RUST – then we’d have DIAMONDS AND RUST (after the Joan Baez song – I’m an old folkie from way back!).