Birdlife of St Hallett Winery.... Part 1

Welcome to the first instalment of Birdlife of St Hallett Winery!
I have been taking a few photos just of late of some of the birds which frequent the winery grounds from time to time! As you may have seen from some of the other posts on this blog, we have done some re-vegetating of native plant species and hung both birds breeding boxes and Bat roosting boxes around some of the more under-utilised areas to try and encourage some more of the native wildlife which frequents this area to move in.
Birds are some of the more conspicuous species to utilise these areas and also my favourites when taking photos.With this I have decided to put a series of posts up with a few shots and a short description of some of the species which can be found around here. Some are here all year round.. some are spring migrants only here for half the year. There will be no particular order or preference just whatever takes my fancy at the time!
Hope you enjoy and feel free to ask about any of the birds in the comments at the bottom of the post! 

This cute little bird is a Grey Fantail, always busy and rarely on the same perch for more than about 5 seconds! I have known of a pair residing in our southern Eucalypt plantation for about 2 yrs, but had never seen any up around the winery before. This was until a couple of days ago when I found a pair near my car as I was about to leave work for the day. Very exciting... as this is exactly the type of species we are trying to encourage to move into areas we haven't seen them before! 

This is a male Crested Shrike-tit, we have a pair of these beautiful little birds that breed every year in our Eucalypt plantations! A threatened species in the Mt Lofty Ranges, it's a privilege to have them here! Also great for the trees as they comb through every part removing lerps and borers which are damaging to the trees, when not kept under control! So these beauts are the "tree keepers" of St Hallett!

Superb Fairy-wrens are a common sighting along the North Para River which forms a boundary to our property and are another bird which is always busy! One family group have moved up away from the river and now reside between the house area of one of our neighbours and our tank farm. I am hoping once some of our native planting areas become more established some more will move in!

This bird is a Rufous Whistler, or Thunder bird as it is sometimes known due to it's habit of singing like mad if a clap of thunder goes off! We have a resident pair which have moved into the southern Eucalypt plantation as well. Often you will hear them well before you see them! A common bird only in areas of native vegetation e.g. Altona Conservation Park just down the river from us! Another bird where it would be great if some more happened to appear in other areas of the winery! fingers crossed!

The mightiest of them all them all! The Wedge-tailed Eagle is the fourth largest Eagle in the world! and by far and away the biggest bird of prey we get around here! We have a pair of these majestic birds flying over us every so often, they have a nest just a few kilometres away downstream  along the river and after every breeding season the adults will often have a young one with them.. circling away up in the thermals rising from the valley floor! Never get sick of seeing these!

 So there we go.. five beautiful original residents of the Barossa Valley calling the grounds of and the skies above St Hallett Winery home! and you have got to be happy with that!
Stay tuned and as I acquire more photos part 2/3/4 and so on, will follow!
Till then....enjoy all things green!

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