My wife and I decided to have a day out together in the Southern Highlands. However, the forecast was for gale force winds and a wind chill factor well below the temperature predicted. We knew this would reduce the bird numbers we would see, but we went anyway. We discovered a new birding place just out of Janberoo called Jerrara Dam Arboretum and Wetlands.
On the way we saw this fine specimen of a White-necked Heron. Who gave us some lovely shots. Click on photos to enlarge them.
Sadly we missed photographing the Wonga Pigeons on the side of the road. We were impressed with the number of rainforest and woodland birds there. So many Grey Fantails and Brown Thornbills. But our first bird was the Grey Shrike-thrush, of which we saw several.
The dam was disappointing, and windblown, having mainly common pacific black ducks. Rainbow Lorikeets fed from the flowers of the several non native trees.
However our most interesting find was that of a Brown Gerygone, a bird that is always difficult to photograph due to their constant movement and fear of man, But I did get these photos.
This is what it sounds like.
Our next stop was the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre (a place where my book is sold in great number) gave us this male Superb Lyrebird which we always see just as we drive into the park. He was quite OK about us being there, but as you can see from the photo below, the strong gusts of wind were blowing his tail all over the place. But when the wind eased and the sun shone through the canopy this is what we saw.
We did not stay long due to the absence of birds, but drove on to Barren Grounds National Park, where we have this delusion that we will actually see the very rare, beautiful but most elusive Eastern Ground Parrot. Barren grounds was so windy and barren by name of birds. Not even the Bristlebird was there. The only birds we saw were the Fantail Cuckoo. from a distance, which we have seen here before…
The only other bird was another Eastern Yellow Robin which followed us along the track, and as you can see in the last photos was quite wind blown. No other bird was seen, only occasional wattle bird sounds.
So after our cuppa and bickie sheltered from the cold south-wester, we drove to Fitzroy Falls (Morton National Park) another place where my book is sold. But only heard the Lyrebird, but did not see it. We only saw Brown Thornbills and more Eastern Yellow Robins.
By now we were ready for lunch so we drove to Roberton for soup at the Old Cheese Factory. From there we made our way home. We did not see many birds but we had a lovely day out, birding in the wind, together. The might and power of the wind reminds me of God’s great power and majesty.
“Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.” – Psalm 104:1-3