We finally made our way down the mountain from O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Lamington NP alias ‘bird heaven’ to the hinterland at around sea level on the beautiful Gold Coast of Queensland. We set out to find some birding gold, searching the wetlands behind the coast in search of the Magpie Goose and the Comb-crested Jacana. Interestingly enough, last weekend a friend said while doing a walk with me, that he was told that Australia had no goose. The Magpie Goose is mostly prevalent in the far north of Australia whereas the Cape barren Goose only on the far south of the mainland, Maria and Kangaroo Islands.
I quickly corrected him informing him that we have two geese, the Magpie and the Cape Barren which most Australians would never have seen because their numbers were depleted and they chose to live away from humans. He was surprised and now has to inform his friend who gave him the spurious information. They are on the comeback and are starting to be seen again breeding in safety. We struck gold at the Emerald Lakes Wetlands, where there were reportings of Jacana and magpie Geese. We saw no Jacana but were blessed with Magpie Geese nesting.
We were able to see the goose fly and land in a tree, later followed by another goose. These were not the nesting geese they were quite safe and content sitting on the nest out in the lake among the beautiful water lilies. The Magpie Goose gets its name because it is basically black and white in colour, like the Magpie.
This movie clip will give you a better idea of this large bird.
Standing alone by the lake was this beautiful Royal Spoonbill decked out in breeding plumage.
Royal Spoonbill in breeding plumage
This lone Australasian Grebe was also present.
There was also gold in the trees surrounding the lake with honeyeaters including the Blue-faced and Brown Honeyeater. Click on photos to enlarge them.
But the special gold was this Striped Honeyeater parents tending their nest, after all it was Spring. The tiny nest was a sack made of spiders web and small twigs knit cleverly together with an upper opening. The parents came back and forth feeding the young inside. It gets its name from the stripes on its head and neck.
Other Gold included this Rufous Whistler, infact the area near another nearby lake was alive with the sounds of many male Rufous Whistler calling. Spring is the time the Whistlers are most noisy in song. Here is a sample of what we heard.
Some of my birding friend will recall my research into the leap of faithof small passerines, taking off from a branch. This Rufous Whistler is a good example captured leaping with closed wings and opening wings a second or two after the leap.
Other birds seen include the Brown Thornbill, Pied Butcherbird (with its beautiful song), Noisy Friarbird, Little Egret, Olive-backed Oriole and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike.
The bird that stole our delight for quite a while was this brilliant dazzling Sacred Kingfisher. We were in search of the Collared Kingfisher but this beautiful Sacred made up for it. The only difference between the two is that the yellow-brown colouring on the lores and chest is not found on the Collared. He was so beautiful in the sunlight, and though a fair way off in the bush I managed to get some decent shots as he was not threatened by us.
Thank you everyone who gave comment on last weeks controversial topic concerning the pros and cons of caging and feeding wild birds. It was a great response. I forgot to include this beautiful Grey Goshawk, a raptor which hangs around the Birds of Prey show, hoping to score a feed. This is a free and wild bird and is not part of the show. The show presenter usually feeds this bird a chicken before the show to keep it satisfied.
This ends our series on birding the Gold Coast and next week I will have some special local treats for you, one of which is a lifer for me. If you have not yet checked out my new feature on my Home Page yet on nesting Tawny Frogmouths now is the time as this will change soon. Also, with Christmas around the corner now is the last chance to bag my beautiful bird book ‘What Birds Teach Us’ as a wonderful inexpensive stocking filler for that budding birder or bird lover from 8 years and upwards. I am so encouraged by the many who have recently purchased here online and in the many shops which now stock it. You will not get it at as cheap as here online using the security of PayPal. Read the Blurb and Reviews & Purchase from my BirdBook page.
As many of you know God is an important part of the birding experiences of my wife and I.We have experienced amazing blessings as we let our loving Heavenly Father be a part of our birding exploits. We find Christmas so over exploited by money making businesses that the true meaning is being lost altogether from it. Jesus is no longer a part of it, and this Santa image has taken his place. This has been done to embrace all religions and beliefs residing in our country, and keep the holiday alive with meaning. Despite all this, Jesus will always be the reason for the season. We celebrate Jesus every day of the year because we have made HIM our personal friend, and his Spirit abides in us and guides us in our daily life. If you do not know Jesus or what he is about, maybe you can take this Christmas as an opportunity, as I did, many years ago, as a teenager, to check it out for yourself by reading the New Testament account in easy reading English. God will reveal Himself to all who seek Him, He promises to do this, as He did to me.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” – James 4:8
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 29:11
“For Godsoloved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
” All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me,but raise them up at the last day.For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” – John 6: 37-40
Jesus prayed this prayer for you and me:
“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:25