Last Sunday afternoon on the third day of Spring my wife and I had a lovely walk into the Royal National Park, Audley to see and hear the sounds of Spring. Spring wildflowers had bloomed earlier than usual, and many were even finishing flowering. The real sound of Spring for me in an Australian forest, in particular the Royal NP, is the call of the male Golden Whistler, seeking out a female to court and mate with. Click photo to enlarge it.
All winter we would see both male and female but rarely hear a sound from them. But what a delight to hear several males calling along the track as they did last summer. Here is a sample of what I heard, and what is the call seeking the female. When I resounded its call back to the bird it came close to check it out to give me these pictures. We heard at least three singing their hearts out along the track, each in its own territory.
Other signs of Spring were the interesting wild flowers as well as the Cabbage Tree Palm flowers. Cabbage Tree Palms are a feature of the coastal rainforests.
As we sat in the a clearing in the rainforest we were blessed by the appearance of a single Top-knot Pigeon, a most unusual looking bird, on lookout at the top of a tall eucalypt. Suddenly he flew off to join a flock of about thirty others silently flying off deeper into the forest in search of native fruits.
The sound and appearance of the Yellow-faced Honeyeater, our most vocal Winter bird was still heard calling, but not as much, and now not so many birds.
My wife sighted this White-throated Treecreeper climbing a tree. The orange spot on its cheek identifies it as a female. It may be the same bird I saw a few weeks ago. These birds make a classic repetitive call as they ascend a tree. They can hang upside down without any difficulty as they pry under the bark for insects and worms.
We neither saw nor heard any Lyrebirds on our walk as many people had been walking the track during the day, but we did see the now resident and recently breeding Crested Shrike-tit, which I recently also featured from the same area. This bird comes packed with a very strong beak for a small bird. It is often difficult to see high in the eucalypts, but easily gives away its position by the sound of falling bark and foraging which is usually quite audible. It was difficult due to the height of the bird to get ideal shots.
One photo which I did not realise I had captured till at home was this very juvenile Crested Shrike-tit having a moment with its parent. It was a one off gem of a shot, as the juveniles are seldom photographed, as much as the immatures. The juveniles have no black or white markings but are chicken yellow.
We did not see much else, but this female Superb Fairy-wren posed for me, so I could not resist a few portrates.
At this time our prayers and thoughts are with our dear blogging friends in Florida as they prepare for the wild fury a hurricane. We hope they are able to evacuate safely, and that their damage is very minimal. My closing thought comes from this angophora branch, how amazing that it grows with this bend in it. We might ask why or how?
Like many things in life we ask why or how but there may be no answers known. Men and women try to postulate answers, out of the pride of the heart many would be scientists postulate that ‘science’ knows all, but not all that is called ‘science’ is science’ as the definition of science is the observation and study of our universe. It deals with facts which can be observed and tested and then attested to be true, not philosophical postulations that proud men who call themselves scientists make to convince the unsuspecting trusting common person believe their philosophical ideas are scientific fact. Many things remain unanswered and unexplained, and may remain so forever, simply because there was no one there at the time in history to observe or record their experiences. Many scientists have turned to God in the last 40 years, simply from the conviction their own studies have brought, of the Intelligent Design and the very evident Created Order which any intelligent being can not ignore. Check out my school teaching video for more on this issue, if you have not done so yet.
“ For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” – Romans 1:21,22,25
Have a great week Birding!