No you did not read wrong we received the gift of two lifers in two weeks and we did not have to travel much more than an hour to find them. The Red-capped Robin has been my target bird for 2019 and yesterday my wife and I together saw the male in bright sunlight north west of Sydney in Wianamatta Nature Reserve.My followers will remember from recent posts, that I have searched for this bird in the Sydney region (where it is not normally found) and Canberra at Mulligan’s Flat, where it had been sighted on several occasions, and not seen it. The other lifer is showcased in my last post, and more will follow next week on the Swift Parrot.
My blogging friend David of Birds as Poetry has seen and photographed many pairs of this bird in Victoria, where it is more commonly found. In the above link David shares his excellent photos of this bird. Here is another link from a previous post where in 2012 David has great pics of the female. The Red-capped Robin mainly prefers the dry woodlands west of the ranges and is primarily territorial and insectivorous. It started as a morning out together, hoping to find this bird.
We walked around the usual road tracks of the old signal receiving station and then decided to go off on a smaller track. Suddenly, a flash of red flew to the top of a dead tree in front of us. The sun was over our shoulders, the sky blue and the bird looked magnificent as it looked us over for a few seconds and flew off. We were so filled with joy and thanksgiving for this wonderful gift. I could hardly get over the fact that our loving Heavenly Father had placed it right there in front of us in bright sunlight.
My first shots were not crisp as I had trouble getting focus on the small bird so high, and as some of you know my vision suffers from a rare condition, and both eyes have had major surgery saving my sight several times, which makes it a miracle (as my wife often says) that I even get any birds in focus.
We later saw the female, but the clouds had started to come over and I did not get good shots of her with diffused background light. I am hoping to return another time to try again. My elation lasted all day as I kept smiling and repeating to my wife “The Red-capped Robin! What a gift!” Your can just see the light reddish patch on her head, as she does not have the bright plumage of the male, but is grey brown, like many female birds, to act as protection while nesting, making them less noticeable. This is also why the young males also look similar to the female until maturity when they are able to defend themselves.
It seems strange that a mature couple would travel over an hour to a bush park out west of Sydney to enjoy time together. We were the only people there the whole time. We sat on our fold-up chairs and enjoyed a cuppa from the Thermos and some of my wife’s lovely Anzac cookies and just practiced the mindful art of appreciating the sight, sound, smell and sensation of the place, and giving thanks to God. It was a beautiful bonding experience as we felt the gentle breeze on our faces, smelt the trees, heard the birds and watched the trees against blue sky. We felt quite invigorated after our six kilometer walk, and concluded a lovely morning together which of course was highlighted by the gift of the Red-capped Robin.
I am actively writing my second book now and having another rest between work. Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers. I am delighted my first book has almost sold out of print.
Have a wonderful week and remember that those of us who choose to smile and live with a positive happy cheerful attitude are more likely to live longer, stay healthier, being less stressed and able to make more friends. Most of all we can make a positive difference in the lives of the people we meet each day, including strangers.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine” – Proverbs 17:22
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