Continuing our series on Exploring Oatley Park Reserve I was surprised to discover the following. Having entered the park many times through this gate over the past years, I did not know that the pine tree growing by the entrance was actually planted from a seed brought from Galipoli from the original Lone Pine destroyed in the terrible Battle of Lone Pine in 1915 where many Australian and New Zealand soldiers died.
This is the plaque that sits beside the tree commemorating its planting and the Anzacs who fought the bloody battle of Lone Pine during the first world war. This was the last pine tree standing during the battle, as the others were felled for use in the trenches.
The Laughing Kookaburra is a regular inhabitant in Oatley Park, and a chorus of kookaburras can often be heard ringing through the park from key Kookaburra vantage points. In previous posts I have shown one family nesting in a white-ant nest, which is common for these birds. Click on photos to enlarge them.
One of the responses to the unusually warm winter August days, is not only early wattle flowering, bringing on early seasonal rhinitis to us humans, but also early nesting of the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. Many nests are actively being guarded by small family groups in the hollows of Angophora costata trees (Sydney Red Gum).
One of the tiny birds seen moving in small feeding flocks through the park this time of year is the Silvereye. I always get intrigued watching the way these birds can hang quite easily upside-down from branches Notice the reflection on the leaf of the birds face. You can see how tiny they are by the size of the small leaves they search under for insects.
The Golden Whistler is a feature bird in the park at the present time. Male, female and juveniles areactive, and I always manage to see one or both of these birds during each visit.
The male and female Golden Whistler communicate to each other as they move through the trees, in a similar manner to the other whistlers and the Eastern Whipbird. The male will call and the female responds. The birds sing more during the warmer courting and breeding months of spring and summer.
The Brown Thornbill is another commonly seen bird moving through the Casuarina trees for small insects, making its squeaky call as it moves rapidly from branch to branch. It is often difficult to get good photos of this tiny bird.
There are many Superb Fairy-wren families in Oatley Park, including some Variagated fairy-wren families. This young male (last pic above) is morphing from immaturity (female like colours) to the bright male colours of manhood, which will qualify him for breeding later this year.
Another beautiful small bird seen this time of year is the Eastern Spinebill. This bird is primarily a nectar eater and during this small winter window of low numbers of flowering native nectar flowers it moves to the coast where its main food comes from the early Banksia flowers and the Mountain Devil flowers which grow further inland. Many of these birds are seen on the coastal National Parks and Reserves at present.
My Bird of the Week – The Rose Robin
One bird that has attracted the return of local birders many times to the same place in the park is the beautiful brightly coloured Rose Robin male. This bird is quite predictably found browsing the same trees and same area circuit daily in the park, but because of its size and the way it moves creates quite a challenge for the photographer. The male and female, as seen above, are quite different in appearance. This bird is endemic to the eastern side of the Australian mainland from southern Queensland down to the eastern south Australian coast, predominantly east of the ranges. It is insectivorous and like other robins tends to move around a known territory, where it can be predictably found most of the year.
With bird photography it is about grasping the moment, being at the right place at the right time, and being ready. This photo was a beautiful gift to catch this rapidly flying Rose Robin in flight coming toward me from some distance way.
To conclude my post for this week, I leave you with this parliament of magpies singing their worshipful morning chorus. Research has shown the Australian Magpie has one of the world’s most complex bird songs, and is able to move quite freely and rapidly between octaves to make its melodic warble. The chief purpose of music and song is thanksgiving to God the Creator. It is my belief that birds in the morning and evening chorus are actually worshiping God and giving thanks for the day and the food they are finding. Again, like them we can learn to have an ‘attitude of gratitude‘ and start our day with a joyous thankful heart, it is what we were intentionally made to enjoy. Enjoy a wonderful fulfilling week!
“The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.” – Psalm 65:8
aussiebirder.com will be displaying canvas prints for sale at the Oatley West Public School Community Festival Art Show 27th and 28th August 2016. These will be mainly prints from birds photographed at Oatley Park Reserve, which is situated next to the school. My book What Birds Teach Us advertised here in the sidebar, will also be for sale at the festival.