Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Paradise and Softbills

Rainbow Pitta with a meal worm in the beak
I went for a visit to the home of Jeff Bray and Rod Leys recently. Jeff has long been one of Australia's finest Softbill breeders and since retirement from work Jeff and Rod's collection has steadily increased. I always enjoy visiting and what makes it that much more enticing is that the home and aviaries are surrounded by superb gardens tendered too by Jeff and Rod. It is a true paradise.

The gardens are stunning
The range of natural bird life that occurs in the area of Northern New South Wales where they live is also breathtaking with various honeyeaters, fruit doves, pigeons, robins and parrots regularly coming to visit. Brush Turkeys are resident and through out the gardens large piles of leaves etc have been built up by the male Brush Turkeys to entice a female to breed and lay her eggs in. In fact during my visit a Brush Turkey chick was seen getting around the yard.

A well planted aviary housing various Soft Bills
The aviaries are well planted and provide great cover for the softbill housed. The collections includes Pittas, Whipbirds, Bowerbirds, Kingfishers, Doves, Pigeons, Catbirds and so much more. Catering for the birds is no easy task and it takes Jeff and Rod many hours to prep the food and feed the birds. Some natural fruits and berries are also sourced from around the garden and the area.

Green Catbirds are a new addition
During my visit I was able to catch just a small number of species featured in the collection on camera. I really am looking forward to my next visit. Feel free to share a link to this post with your friends.
Green Catbirds enjoy fruit as can be seen by the beak of this bird

Regent Bowerbirds are a site to behold
N.T Subspecies of Forest Kingfisher

Bush Stone Curlew
Aviaries housing Pheasants, Rails etc

Often cryptic this Buff-Banded Rail was happy for a photo to be taken
Just a small selection of bromeliads from around the garden

Variegated bromeliad Aechmea gamosepala, "Lucky Stripes"
Dendrobium chrysanthum orchid
Dendrobium nobile was one of the many stunning orchids found around the property
Metallic Starling enjoying a rain shower
Happy Birdkeeping,

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