I had a tip off that a flock of Pink-eared Ducks were in Centennial Park, Sydney, so I went to check it out. I did not find any but I did find a very large flock of Little Corella playing and cavorting on the banks of the lake. The photo above is typical of what I saw many birds doing as they played in the warm winter sun, making love in preparation to mate soon, which they may do many times in the next few days.
Passerines do not have a penis but both sexes have a cloaca opening which swells at arousal and then connect by rear mount during intercourse. Water birds have and need the extended penis when they mate in water environments so their sperm is not washed away. These Corellas roll around on the grass with their mate on top, making herself very vulnerable to male, expressing trust and acceptance.
When they put their mouths together they touch tongues, which is a pleasurable kiss for them. They show much affection for the one they will mate for life with.
They enjoy playing like young lovers, rolling about on the grass together. It is difficult at times to tell one bird from the other, which is type of their relationship ‘where two become one’ as God intended for all marriages. I guess, with Spring being a day away this behaviour is to be expected. Many kinds of flock birds cavort and mate as a group, the Flamingo is the best example, though I did not witness any birds mating while I passed by this flock.
The footage below shows something of the size of the flock and noise these birds generate. We hear a large flock of them going out and coming in each day from near my home. Watch them as they roll on the grass briefly.
This flock were near the water, as we are in severe drought, many are having a drink from the lake and generally staying close to fresh water. Soon they will graze on grass seed on the fields nearby, as they have eaten much of the pine cone seed already. The Sulphur-crested and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo have also competed for the same food and are also looking elsewhere for seed. Click on photos to enlarge.
The more sedate and cultured Corella sat in the tree nearby beholding the raucous commotion and cavorting behaviour.
A very interesting find, almost missed by myself, was this one Corella that was on its own standing among the Rock Pigeons a short distance away from the Little Corella flock. It was a Long-billed Corella. Many would just think it was another Little Corella, but for careful observation of beak length and pink chest colouring.
As with many features in one’s life and in birds, things can look the same but subtle differences express meaning to those who understand. Take for example this pair of Australian Black Swan which were on the lake nearby. Note the male, he has a longer neck and bill than the female.
As many of you know I love a good bird reflection, so these were also captured that morning.
I always love seeing Black Swans preen, as it makes it difficult from a distance to actually work out what on earth the seemingly headless creature is.
The Hardheads that were also on the lake have a classic way of sex distinction by their eye colour. The male has the white and the female the brown eye. This is similar to the Jabiru (Black-necked Stalk) but the female has the yellow eye and the male the brown.
My final find, just before leaving the park was this Fairy Martin, a bird that is not often seen ( or should I say identified), and mainly because many, including myself, when not observing intently, think it is just another Welcome Swallow by the way it constantly circles flying over the water. This guy drew my attention because it flew constantly around me, coming very close, and offering a photographic challenge, which I delightedly took up.
The white back and tail shape of this very active little bird differentiate it as it eats insects on the fly. Below compare the Welcome Swallow, with the above Fairy Martin.
I need to sadly inform my readers that the Pied Currawong nest I featured in last weeks post suffered destruction due to the eucalypt tree in which it sat falling over. I found no trace of the nest remains. Many large trees are currently suffering drought stress and shedding leaves with some even falling over in our local bush parks. This misadventure could not have been forknown by the Currawong, it trusted the tree like it has on other occasions to support its nest and future family.
Sometimes misadventure happens to us all, we do all the right things, we act honestly and respectfully with integrity, but unexpected bad things happen to us or to the ones we love and it does not seem fair at all. Anger to seeming injustice is common and can cause depression and much heart break. Life carries no guarantee that everything will always turn out to appear good. The good thing is our loving Father God can make all things (both bad and good alike) turn out for our good, maturing and teaching us in a way we can not even imagine. So many people can testify to this, me included. So press into Gods loving arms when things go askew and seek him to take you through your pain and difficulty in the trial, and discover God’s Treasure in Your Trial.
“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.” – Ecclesiastes 7:14
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
Have a wonderful week, and enjoy the birds!
Thanks again for wonderful comments and reviews I continue to receive from those who have purchased my book here online and from the many stores that now stock it. If you have not yet bought your copy or even explored what it is about, then go to my Birdbook page. You can purchase it there or here in the sidebar. I have found several places I visited it was sold out and they had not realised they had even sold their display copy.
NOTE: All photos, videos and music used on this website are photographed, composed, performed by the site owner and remains his copyrighted property, unless otherwise stated. The use of any material that is not original material of the site owner is duly acknowledged as such. © W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018