Early last Sunday my wife and I took a drive out to Wianamatta Nature Reserve in search of the Red-capped Robin. We were not counting on it being one of the most foggy mornings on record, lasting into the afternoon. However, this did not put us off, it only made viewing very difficult at times, especially photography. Sadly, the Robins did not make an appearance nor did many other birds, but those that were impaired by the darkness and obstruction of the fog. The fog gave some interesting vistas.
After spending some time walking around the reserve our most frequent sighting was that of the Double-barred Finch. Finches are a flock bird, often in flocks of hundreds which are known as ‘charms’.(i.e. A charm of Finches). Finches prefer the dryer inland areas of Australia where they spend much of their time grazing on grass seed, or sitting together in the shade of a tree. There are two subspecies: race bichenovii Eastern mainland Australia (NSW & QUE) having a white rump and race annulosa Far North-Western Australia (WA & NT) having a brown rump. As you can see below the white rump race as expected were present.
Other birds included the Yellow Faced Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill, Grey Fantail (catching insects mid air, the fog did not seem to affect its accuracy) and New Holland Honeyeater addressing its youngster. Notice how the fog affects both colour and clarity, with the brightly diffused background lighting further impairing my photos due to the silhouetting.
Having had no success finding the resident Red-capped Robin family, we decided to go away to a nearby suburb for lunch and return later for one last try, as we were over an hours drive from home and had traveled 3 toll roads to get there. On returning at about 2pm the fog had lifted and a blue sky began to appear. Once again the Finches dominated our attention, with still no sign of the Robins. The charm truly did charm us as they flew in flock from ground to tree and back. They were so small and quiet blending in with the grass that it was easy to almost walk on them, giving you a fright as they suddenly took flight.
The safety of the flock reminds us of the importance of community and how it has been so important for mankind’s survival and propagation. This encourages us to gain an appreciation for those who voluntarily give up their time and effort, often at their own expense to provide aid and assistance to others in the community, as a gracious choice. Those of like interest flock together to bring assistance and help to particular areas of the community. The Volunteer Fire Brigade, the SES, Lifeline, Street Reach, The Smith Family, Vinnies, the Salvos, various service clubs, disability support and aid organisations. The satisfaction of giving freely showing unconditional love has personal rewards of satisfaction that far exceed the cost of ones resources.
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your selfish nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” – Galatians 5:13
Have a great weekend! My new book is nearing the final stages and being prepared for a first edit. I am in the process of receiving treatment for a heart condition which was a surprise.
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