Three weeks ago my wife and I visited the Southern Highlands region south of Sydney where we found many birds, in particular a lone Regent Honeyeater. The Drunk Parrot Tree in Wollongong Botanic Gardens is now deserted of birds as the blossoms are finished, assisted by the violent deluge (Sydney’s Super Storm) we experienced a week ago. A day after the rain I went back to check how the birds fared. A friend at a National Park office told me that many birds were brought in injured from the storm and many had died. You will remember I featured the above nest in my previous post with the female Dusky Woodswallow sitting proudly on her eggs. After the storm, my investigation found no Woodswallows anywhere around the nest area in the Budderoo National Park. In fact the forest was almost silent but for the call of an elusive Rufous Whistler. However the wild flowers benefited from the rain and were in full bloom both here and in Barren Grounds National Park where I visited later. Click on photo to enlarge it.
The sound of the Fan-tailed Cuckoo could be heard making it easy to find. The Eastern Bristlebird I would usually find was also gone as were many other birds.
Then I was charmed by the lovely call of the Grey Shrike-thrush, a bird that is normally quite brave and curious of humans, though this one was rather shy.
The Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike watched as I poured my coffee from my thermos with the silent heath lands of the highlands all to myself. I love sitting in the silence with no man made machine or voice noises, just the sound of birds and wind blowing with the wisps of wild flower scent.
Another curious bird the female Golden Whistler came to check me out. I always love the way this bird turns its head to look at me in a similar way to the Robins. I could hear the male calling earlier so I knew he probably had a mate and was nesting nearby. Notice how plain looking she is compared to the stunning colors of the male.
This Eastern Crimson Rosella was a laugh as it shook its tail doing some kind of dance. It was some distance away and in the forest darkness.
I later made my way down the mountain to visit Wollongong Botanic Gardens to see how the Bowerbirds were going and on the way I sighted this male Superb Lyrebird foraging.
Finally I arrived at the gardens and noticed the absence of nectar eating passerines, but to my delightful surprise was greeted by several rainforest birds which are not commonly seen out in the open. This Bassian Thrush was sighted behind a bush but I only got one shot and it was gone.
My second rainforest gift was this Green Catbird, a beautiful specimen out in the open sunlight, something you seldom get to see. These birds are related to the Bowerbirds and are very elusive and hard to spot in a tree due to their colour and shyness. Their call usually helps find them.
My third rainforest bird was of course the Satin Bowerbird, and not just the male but this beautiful female with food in mouth waiting to leave for the nest, not wanting me to know where it is.
The Satin Bowerbird have such beautiful eye colour. The blue-black plumage colors are the product of light refraction in the surface feathers. The males were busy repairing bowers and collecting more blue objects to decorate the bower to make it attractive to fertile females. My book “What Birds Teach Us” features this unique Australian bird and draws on a lesson we can learn from its creative nature.
One of the several males was sitting up on a branch and calling to the females.
It was noted that the unusual double bower was still intact after the storm, though others had suffered loss.
This male kept his eye on me as he foraged and dug down under a bush, unusual behaviour.
But my greatest gift was to view through the bushes a rare glimpse of a mature male Satin Bowerbird teaching the immature youngster how to dance. He was training the youngster for the most important role that would occupy the rest of his life, building the bower, doing the mating dance and singing the mating songs (mimicry) to impress and get the females to mate with him. Only the the most creative and best performers get the girl. Recent studies show that this is a learnt process from a young age, and as with humans there are different degrees of intelligence, creativity and ability. Lyrebirds have a similar learnt process. Birds with long gestation and maturity times such as these have larger brains and more neurons in their learning regions. It takes over six years for a male to mature to full adult plumage. This is the only photo I managed to get through the bushes of this immature male, the movie clip was not suitable as it was too difficult to focus through the bushes.
The garden desert region had the beautiful native Western Australian Kangaroo Paw flowering in various colors.
In this world of constantly changing values and morals many are left confused and disillusioned. The lack of absolute truth and the lack of adherence to such by society in government, schools, churches and law courts has assisted in increasing depression, disappointment and lack of direction for living. This has caused Family and Personal Counselling to become the fastest growing industry worldwide today. In the same way if we do not follow the manufacturers instructions problems may arise, so it is with us. If we do not recognize or want to recognize the instructions of our Loving Creator for our best life scenario, and disregard them, we will strike problems and suffer the pain of guilt and disappointment in life.
We were ‘appointed‘ to live a righteous and enjoyable life in relationship with God the Father, so we become ‘disappointed‘ when we do life our own way, following the crowd of selfish amoral modern thought. Regardless of whether or not it is legal in society, that does not make it right. This is what my brother, a barrister, explained many years ago when I shared my disapproval with some of the judgments made in our law courts.
The point is that all the birds in our region experienced the deluge of Sydney’s Super Storm and the strong winds on the day, some fared well and some were injured and died, some stayed and suffered the storm as many were still nesting and others fled, possibly being warned instinctively to flee. We all have to make choices and if we choose to make choices that are not good for us we need to be prepared to suffer the consequences which may appear later in life. The other side of this today in our Secular Humanistic society is that we may suffer standing for what is right (what we believe to be Truth) and be persecuted by what is proclaimed legal in our new Modernistic Atheistic Society, where the government becomes the new god. The question in me and each of us is: How then will I fare, how will I withstand life’s storms?
“Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore, I have set my face like a stone,
determined to do his will.
And I know that I will not be put to shame.
He who gives me justice is near.
Who will dare to bring charges against me now?
Where are my accusers?
Let them appear!
See, the Sovereign Lord is on my side! – Isaiah 50: 7-9a
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 15:23 (NLT)
Have a wonderful week my dear blogging birding friends as we prepare for the celebration of Jesus coming to earth as our savior. I just want to leave you with a lovely thought Brian Mulroney spoke at exPresident George H W Bush’s funeral:
“There are ships that sail the seas, but the best ships are friendships!”
If this is your first visit to my blog, why not check out the rest of my website aussiebirder.com!
What better Christmas Gift than a copy of my book, a gift that keeps on giving.especially for young people 7 to 12 years of age. It not only teaches an appreciation of Australia’s beautiful birds but integrates life skills as the unique characteristics of each bird teach us how to do life better. Many from all over the world who follow this blog have purchased this book, some have given reviews. Read them for yourself and purchase here online on my BirdBook page.
A lady bought 3 books two days ago, after reading it in a Dentist Surgery waiting room. She was so pleased she had found the perfect Christmas present for her grandchildren that she came back the next day and bought 2 more.
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