Last weekend we ventured over the Great Dividing Range to the south west inland city of Wagga Wagga , for my wife’s brother’s 70th. The Great Dividing mountain range runs down the east coast of Australia’s mainland giving two distinct climates coastal and inland, and with it some distinctly different birds. Some birds do better in the hot dry climate than the humid moist coastal climate, preferring west of the ranges. many of our parrot species are found in this region including the Red-rumped Parrot featured above.
Female and male Red-rumped Parrot
This is the predominant parrot, small and robust as it is, and with its notable red rump in view, which is only a feature of the male. The female has a green rump, yet no body named her the Green-rumped Parrot, did they! These small seed eating parrots are often disturbed unexpectedly by passing walkers as they graze silently unseen on the ground on grass seed. They are found in small family flocks. Click on photos to enlarge them.
It was a rainy overcast Sunday morning early, after the party the night before, that I ventured out alone around Lake Albert, a place I have posted several times in previous years. I apologise for any not so clear photos, as some had to be enhanced with touch-ups due to poor lighting. Here is some movie footage of them grazing, there is nothing amazing about it, but it gives a better perspective of this little bird.
One of the features of the inland cities is that they were build on the large rivers that flow from the inland to the coast. The River Gums are a beautiful tree one sees by the Murrumbidgee river as well as along Lake Albert. A great haven for birds.
As I walked around the lake (not pictured here as my birding lens could not capture it), I saw various species of seed eating birds including the Galah, a common inhabitant of the west. These birds like others of the parrot family mate for life, and have a beautiful relationship of caring and preening one another.
A surprise find was this ‘Yellow Rosella’ a subspecies of the Crimson Rosella, which is usually found further southwest.
This Eastern Rosella turned up briefly to check me out before flying off.
Due to the persisting drought conditions inland, it has resulted in many bird species being either missing or in small number and/or not breeding here this year. It was surprising to see how the drought has affected the numbers and breeding of birds both coastal and inland this summer. Though some were not perturbed, such as the Australian Magpie where we saw an example of both immature black backed and white backed sub species.
Immature white-backed Southern Magpie
Black backed immature
Adult black-backed Eastern Magpie
Black-backed Magpie immature
One bird common to most of the mainland is the Magpie-lark (PeeWee, Mud-lark) found usually in pairs. See if you can remember from my previous posts which is the male and female? I will tell you at the end which is which.
pair of PeeWees
A not so popular migratory nomadic introduced bird is the Common Starling, which I could tell by their squeaky call. This dead tree by the lake has always had these birds present when I have visited. I think they breed in it.
This Crested Pigeon is a beautiful specimen and posed for me so well so I had to include it, having one of the best crests I have seen in a while.
One little guy I have always enjoyed seeing here by the lake which we do not see down our way is the Dusky Woodswallow, as he was hunting and devouring a worm.
One of the sad things is that there was a great depletion in water birds since my visit last year. The drought had taken its toll and only a few Pacific Black Duck and Little Black Cormorant were present, along with Australian Swamphen, who were in good number grazing in the cow paddocks nearby. The White-faced Heron flew off before I could catch him on camera.
Little Black Cormorant
This pair of Australian Pelican took the show with their beautiful photogenic synchronous pose.
Finally, the common honeyeater of the inland west is the tiny White-plumed Honeyeater, a very busy bird continually checking leaves for lerps, nectar, insects and blossom. How did you go determining the sex of the Magpie-lark. The female is on the left having a vertical black facial and neck marking and the male is on the right of her, and has a horizontal black facial feature through the eye.
So after a brief walk around the wetland portion of the lake I made my way back to where we were staying to find that everyone was now up and about and ready for breakfast. While they slept I had feasted on the local beauty surrounding the lake and watched the morning sun break on the lake. Sadly my birding lens could not capture this. Apart from the Noisy Minor and the Australian Raven, these were the birds I was blessed to see in that short hour. I am truly thankful that the Lord blesses us with an appreciation of his majestic glory and intelligent design displayed in the beauty and magnificence of his Creation. This always delights me that he shares his delight and enjoyment of all this with me, displaying another beautiful aspect of his abiding love and favor.
“TheblessingoftheLord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” – Proverbs 10:22
“May thefavoroftheLord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.” – Psalm 90:17
Have a wonderful celebration of thanksgiving for Jesus’ Death and Resurrection.
“He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God through Him.”
Which puts us in a wonderful relationship with God the Father through faith in Jesus:
“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” – Ephesians 3:12 (Quotes from NIV)
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