The Rufous Songlark displaying with his spring song
By carefully observing the above photo one can see that it is Spring at Bushell’s Lagoon. The budding fruit tree with a springtime bird, the Rufous Songlark displaying. When a male bird displays, it is signalling to prospective females of its willingness to mate. This courtship performance involves much song and a little dance. My wife and I sighted this Rufous Songlark in full song. This is a bird we hardly ever see, so it was like seeing a lifer for us. Listen and watch as he performs.
There is usually a pleasant surprise find at Bushell’s Lagoon, which makes it one of the most frequented birding locations in the Sydney region, tucked away among the market gardens and turf farms on the rich alluvial soils of the Hawkesbury valley river flats. As some of you know, we like to enjoy a birding date where we start in the morning at Bushell’s, have fishnchip lunch at Windsor and then finish at Wianamatta Nature Reserve. We were pleasantly surprised to find a pair of Glossy Ibis resting with the other shorebirds at the edge of the lake. They were some distance away so the pics are not wonderful, but the sheen of their plumage is noticeable.
As we watched a White-bellied Sea-Eagle came over and sent many of the birds, including the Ibis into a frightened frenzy. Note that the Australian White Ibis and the Glossy Ibis (which is not endemic to Australia) are flying together. This is a feature of Ibis, they tend to find safety together, both roosting and nesting.
The bold little Black-winged Stilt (possible nesting nearby) came to the rescue and singlehandedly attacked and chased off this large raptor, while the others flew off in fear.
Hear is a brief half speed view of one attack strategy.
One feature of this ruckus was to view a Great Eastern Egret in the same tree as a Little Egret.
As we passed the cattle in the nearby paddocks, the Cattle Egret were beginning to show their orange breeding plumage, which begins from the top of the head, and makes its way down to the whole body eventually.
This was a Great capture of one particularly Great Egret, especially with its elegant breeding plumage.
There was amazing activity in the trees lining the lane into the lagoon, as dozens of White-browed Woodswallow were displaying and mating and generally having a noisy game of chasings. It was a delightful sight watching them glide about overhead in classic Woodswallow fashion.
This Red-whiskered Bulbul is another migrant back to enjoy our warmer weather. It sat for some time with a moth in its mouth waiting for us to leave so it could take it to its nest. Many birds do this so they do not disclose the location of their nest to danger.
This place hosts many families of Superb Fairy-wren beside the lake in the thicket like scrub.
We found this juvenile Magpie-lark by the side of the road, it appeared somewhat lame, and was concerned at our presence, so we only briefly viewed it as its parents were nearby trying to distract us away.
As we were leaving Bushell’s Lagoon for lunch, we noticed this Black-shouldered Kite sitting quietly, and unafraid of us in a low lying tree. It allowed us come close, and then we noticed its right eye was not functioning, and had some injury.
After our most enjoyable fishnchips lunch we headed off to Wianamatta Nature Reserve, which is under the NSW National Parks care. There before our eyes on a bare branch as per its classic pose was the first Dollarbird we had seen this season, and it looked so colorful in the sunlight. These birds migrate from up north each Spring, returning in Autumn.
There was a notable absence of Finches, with most the usual birds not present, including the Red-capped Robin. So we walked to the creek, as there was still some water from the recent brief rain, and of course that was where the birds were keeping company, as were heard the sound of several species moving through the canopy of nearby trees. The Rufous Whistler was very vocal, but insisted on eluding me. I managed to catch a few shots of the Scarlet Honeyeater and Spotted Pardolote. As you can see the Pardolote body is the shape and size of a eucalypt leaf, making it hard to detect under a dark canopy.
We finally returned home after another lovely birding date together.
Here is a famous quote of Martin Luther in reference to dealing with temptation, something we all encounter from time to time.
It is true that we all experience tempting thoughts or suggestions from time to time to do wrong or cheat or try to get away with being dishonest. While these suggestions planted in our minds by watching others or by a devilish source, may come quite randomly and sometimes surprise us unexpectedly. We each have the power and ability to reject any thought or suggestion that we deem wrong or in conflict with our integrity and moral code, refuting it when it occurs. The better we identify and turn away these temptations, the less they will occur and be a possible threat to us. One of the feelings or sensations we need to be on guard for is that of the excitement or rush that comes from trying to commit crime or cheat the system. This sometimes euphoric sensation can arouse us to step out in a moment of weakness. To be a true role model living out a character of integrity, it is wise that we be like Luther, aware that temptations will come, fly around our heads, but we can reject them from taking roost or nesting in our minds to cause us to do things we will later regret. For when we act against our conscience it has a negative effect on our health, especially our immune system as well as our inner joy and peace.
William Shakespeare. In Act 1, Scene III of the famous play, Hamlet, Polonius says: “To thine own self be true.”
“Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
Enjoy your week and Spring and Autumn birds, depending on where you live. If this is your first visit to my blog, why not check out my website for more birding tips and info.
And YES there are still more copies of “What Birds Teach Us” if you want to get one or more for that special Christmas gift. It is very popular each year for Christmas, as it is a gift that keeps on giving.