When you live somewhere that lacks rainfall for the majority of the year then a dripping tap brings in the birds. If ever you need an excuse to not fix dripping taps then encouraging birds has to be a good excuse! Even a dripping sprinkler head will attract birds. In our own garden we offer several locations for the birds to come and drink and native plants that will attract the birds too. Our bird list for our garden over the past twenty years continues to grow, but also it has changed over that time. We used to have Long-tailed Finch as the main finch in our garden when we first moved in, but over recent years it has been completely replaced with huge numbers of Double-barred Finch.

Nowadays we have to go out of town a little way to reliably find Long-tailed Finches. The location of the first Hoopoe to visit Australia is now a good place to find Long-tailed Finch. They have realised that there is always water available and native grass seed for them to eat all around the area. There are numerous taps that drip and tall sprinklers that leak and so it is an ideal environment for them. The header photo shows the perfect environment for the Long-tailed Finch. They can drink at the base of the sprinkler and bathe.

Long-tailed Finch bathing

Long-tailed Finch feeding

Long-tailed Finch at the dripping tap

Long-tailed Finch and mud wasp at the dripping tap

On one visit we were surprised that all of the Long-tailed Finch were in the nearby trees and not at the watering point. It was not immediately obvious why. Then we realised that there was a well camouflaged goanna getting a drink!

Goanna getting a drink

The goanna was in the process of changing its skin and the reason for the mottled look. As soon as it moved away from the watering point the finches returned.

Water is such a precious commodity in the bush in Australia. It attracts a lot of wildlife and if you sit and watch you may well be surprised at what comes to it over a short period of time.

Written by Clare M
Clare and her husband, Grant, have lived permanently in Broome, Western Australia since 1999 after living in various outback locations around Western Australia and Darwin. She has lived in the Middle East and the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. She monitors Pied Oystercatchers breeding along a 23km stretch of Broome's coastline by bicycle and on foot. She chooses not to participate in social media, but rather wander off into the bush for peace and tranquility. Thankfully she can write posts in advance and get away from technology!