Thirlmere Lakes NP is off the Hume Highway south west of Sydney. The surrounding area was subjected to massive bushfires a couple of years ago. I do not know if the lake surrounds were affected. This is a great birding area, as you walk around the freshwater lakes on the trail provided. The walks proceed from the Werri Berri Picnic area.
In spring the area is aglow with wildflowers. As you can see above parts of the bush literally glow with colour. Especially the yellow wildflowers. It was a great plus to see a flowering Waratah, our states floral emblem flowering.
My first bird was in the carpark in the picnic area, and it would not stay still enough for me to photograph. It was a Brown Thornbill, which can be difficult to differentiate from the Striated Thornbill since both have striations on their chest. You can see how fast this bird moves about looking for insects.
As I began my walk around the lakes, I was being observed by the very curious Eastern Yellow Robin, which have been known to follow birdwatchers along trails. They are ‘humaners’ like we are ‘birders’:-) These birds are territorial and non migratory. You can usually find these birds in the same area all year round.
This Yellow-faced Honeyeater watched me pass. This is another non-migratory resident found throughout our National Parks here.
This bird was a rare find and appears to be a Grey-bellied Cuckoo-shrike in dark morph. The head has become darkened from its usual grey appearance. This was a difficult bird to identify, if anyone knows better please inform me.
This Eastern Crimson Rosella sat with its back turned away, and refused to have its picture taken.
I finally found a Brown Thornbill sitting quietly in the shade from the hot midday sun, resting from all its morning activity.
On the lake this Great Cormorant was resting and soon took off when it saw me point my long camera lens at it.
This Grey Fantail is another resident bird that likes to follow birdwatchers out of curiosity. It is always a delight to see them fanning their tail as they move about, like most of the resident birds they also are insectivorous.
Jacky Winter watched me as I passed. I felt like I was the bird and these birds were observing me, that I was the one on show here!
Yes, another Eastern Yellow Robin spotted me and watched me with great interest, but did not choose to follow me.
I heard this White-throated Treecreeper making quite a commotion as it climbed this tree. It had its wings out, which are rarely ever photographed. I was not sure what it was making so much noise about, but it was unusual behaviour for a Treecreeper. Sometimes birds do this when they feel their nest is threatened.
Then I am charmed by the sweet sound of the Rufous Whistler merrily sounding, they are such lovely birds, like their cousin the Golden Whistler, they seem to sing all day long as they search for insects.
Of course there is always fungus, and I love photographing fungus!
To close this rather short post I leave you with the above movie to ponder and remind us that one of the greatest benefits of birding is the refreshment of earthing ourselves with the rest of God’s Creation and the beauty of our native surrounds, so that we can face another week in the ‘rat-race’, keeping our composure and not allowing ourselves to become overwhelmed with life’s cares and worries.
“…but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” – Mark 4:19
We need to guard our hearts and minds from loosing our peace and composure in our daily lives, by keeping focused and hooked into God and his promises, resting in His provision of our every need, trusting Him to come through for us, for He will never fail or abandon us, and wants desperately to be in loving, intimate relationship with each one of us, so that we can enjoy His best for our life. Then we will enjoy life and be truly prosperous in life, gaining a beautiful new perspective which will enhance our appreciation of people, ourselves and this beautiful world around us. Have a wonderful week!
My Bird of the Week: The Pied Currawong
The Pied Currawong is a truly unique Aussie bird found primarily on the eastern states of Australia extending to the edge of the desert regions, but not in Tasmania. It is a very noisy conspicuous and curious song bird similar to the Magpie in size and song. It has a distinct yellow eye and curious stance.
As you can see above the juvenile Pied Currawongs are all brown in colour with a dark eye. This changes as they mature. They tend to follow you when walking or eating in the bush, in the curious hope that they will get something to eat. They are quite a bold bird, like the Kookaburra. Like the Magpie, Butcherbird and Kookabuarra they feed on insects, small reptiles, small birds, carrion and berries, but will scavenge from picnickers.
Above are two sound files on the Currawongs calling. The first is a male and female calling to each other during mating season. One calls and the other responds. This can go on for hours in the morning. The second is an evening chorus where many Currawong are calling. I love hearing them call each morning, they are often the first bird in the morning chorus.
Check out my website Home Page for more tips on birding and photo archives from previous Bird of the Week.