Continuing from my last post we continue to explore the birds at Walka Waterworks. This is a very special time for east coast Australian birders, as many species only found inland (over the Great Dividing Range) are crossing over to the coast in search of water and food, due to drought conditions inland. Once such sighting is this Striped Honeyeater, which is not common to our coastal areas.
The White-plumed Honeyeater is another inland bird we saw at Walka. This tiny honeyeater is found in large number in the dryer inland regions, but occasionally near the coast.
The usual Yellow-faced Honeyeater was also present but not in the large numbers seen in the Royal NP.
It is true true that many Australians do not realise that we have many of the worlds honeyeaters, and that birds such as the Red Wattlebird and even the pesky Noisy Miner are native Australian honeyeaters, despite their aggressive tendencies. Many Aussies still don’t know that the wattle on the red wattlebird is the red external features on the side of each cheek.
Another popular honeyeater found here and all along the coast is the Lewins Honeyeater with its classic yellow spot on its cheeks.
We were surprised to find this lone White-necked heron looking quite handsome in the afternoon sun.
We must not neglect to mention the White-faced Heron, usually seen at low tide on river mud flats, but sometimes on inland lake shores.
Many of my blog followers appreciated seeing the elusive Scarlet Honeyeater up close, so I will just refresh with a couple more shots.
The male and female Figbird were seen together during the day. The bright red eye ring is a feature of the south eastern race, the Far North Queensland race has a much lighter almost pink eye ring. You can see how different the female is to the male, and how it can be confused with an Olive baked Oriole or immature Rufous Whistler from a distance.
The Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike is another bird seen in larger numbers now, and is known for its lovely song.
The beautiful Eastern Rosella flew into the Grevillea tree also while we filmed the Scarlet Honeyeaters, but these birds were quite shy and did not like us photographing them.
Some of you may be wondering what do some of the many colourful beautiful Grevillea and Bottlebrush flowers look like which attract our nectar eating birds. Here are some including Golden, Moonlight, Robin Gorden, Coconut Ice, Spider and many other kinds of Grevillea, all glorious in colour and shape, during spring and summer, providing food for the new generation being birthed in nests nearby. Most of the flowers are red, white or gold in colour. Research has shown that Moonlight Grevillea is one of the best native plants to grow to attract birds due to its high desirable nectar content.
With all this activity going on the Australian Raven looks on wondering what all the fuss is about, but the Little Corella are quite unperturbed as they eat grass seed from the mowed lawns , they are not into Grevillea.
Other smaller seed eating birds are these Red-browed Finch also enjoying grass seed on the lawns.
You may remember that the attraction to this place originally was the water birds, especially the Great Crested Grebe we saw breeding here last year. But we saw only one bird at this stage, though this time last year there were many breeding here. It was disappointing, to see just the usual Great Cormorants sitting in the sun.
As we rode on the train around the lake we saw a huge flock of what we initially thought were Australasian Grebe, but curiously enough we have never seen such a flock of this bird, usually only small flocks when breeding, but these were a tight knit flock. On closer examination at home of these photos we found a mixture of Australasian and Hoary-headed Grebe, hence the explanation for the difference in flocking. This picture could make you think these Grebe were babies of this Australian Black Swan, which also breeds here.
If you look carefully you can see the difference in the head featuring the stringy dark appearance. The Australasian Grebe is the bird in the middle of the two Hoary-headed. This was a surprising find.
Of course all this is under the watchful eyes of this pair of Kookaburra, possibly preparing for a family of their own. It is always a treat to get a photo of them together.
Our feature bird here is this beautiful, but difficult to photographe Brown Gerygone. These birds are always a challenge to get a clear shot of because they move around so much, and tend to move in the thick of the tree.
It would not be complete without an appearance of the famous Eastern Yellow Robin, found in almost every forest and looking for mates, as this one was calling incessantly but getting no response.
Yes, the Superb Fairy-wren was heard and seen moving about in the tall grass and bushes throughout the reserve, we must have seen over 20 families. Which concludes a marvelous day of birding on our family gathering. An abundance of blessing…
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full [abundantly].” – John 10:10
Having Jesus our lives gives us access to so much more in life, so much more appreciation of all things, and a delight in the abundance of gifts he delights to bestow on my wife and I as we explore a more abundant life. Yes, it just makes you want to love him more and want to live more fully of his love. The thief is the Devil and his spirit beings that seek to ruin our lives if we let them tempt us, but a full and abundant life comes from living in the joy and delight of acceptance and love from God.
Have a great week!