Last Tuesday I took a long quiet walk alone in my favorite rainforest area to recount the many blessings of the past year and seek guidance for the next year of my life. It was quiet and peaceful with just the sounds of birds, falling and streaming water and wind in the trees. Thankfully most people were at work or had not yet arrived so I had the track mostly to myself. On alighting from my car I found a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo nest with one new Cocky being fed by its parent, by regurgitating food and shaking it down the youngsters throat. This was a great inspiration to me at the beginning of my meditative walk, reminding me of my legacy to leave wisdom food for the younger following generation through my books and talks. What made it even more meaningful was that the border around the whole was almost in the shape of a heart.
At first the parent raised its cone to indicate its concern, but later relaxed when it realised I meant it no harm. Watch the feeding technique as the food is regurgitated and transferred to the beak of the baby.
Another lovely reminder was the sighting two families of Australian Wood Duck, my showcase of the perfect bird family, where both parents faithfully care for the family, remaining true to each other. One brood was fairly recent and one several months old. Note how they look mainly like the mother bird at this stage as they are immature. The Wood Duck is a grazing duck found beside rivers and ponds more so than on them, though the water makes a safe retreat from danger. Unlike other ducks, builds its nests high in eucalypt trees, hence its name.
Commencing the walk it was encouraging to hear the creeks flowing and water falling down the cliff faces, as well as the sound of the White-throated Treecreeper telling me she is ascending a nearby tree. She looks to be young. The problem is getting a clear photo in a dark rainforest, especially when the bird prefers to climb on the dark side of the tree. It uses its beak to pry off bark and poke into holes in tree bark for insects and grubs.
The sound of several male Golden Whistler were heard in different nesting territories along the track, making sure their distance was respected from neighboring cousins. The males would also be communicating with the females if they were off the nest, though he would most likely be feeding both her and the babies at this stage, as we can see he is busy gathering food.
This bird is featured in my book “What Bird Teach Us” available here online, as joyful, because of its continuous song, which changes during the day several times as it goes through its various tasks.
I came to an open picnic spot near the river and noticed movement in a rainforest fruit tree and to my delight a young Brown Cuckoo-dove was feeding alone as I watched. It tried to hide from me, but continued to feed.
Deeper into the rainforest I found this female Superb Lyrebird foraging by the track, quite unperturbed by my presence. Unfortunately lack of sunlight has created some noise and discolouration in these shots, as they have been light corrected. In the first few seconds you will see her grab a nice juicy worm for breakfast.
The elusive Scarlet Honeyeater continuously called but were moving high in the canopy of the tallest eucalypts and were undetectable. However, this young Grey Fantail was fanning his tail for me.
Returning to my car I noticed this female Satin Bowerbird taking an interest in it. It may have been looking into the side rear vision mirror, as many birds have done in the past, viewing their own reflection, which results in them either attacking it or trying to relate to it. She eventually sees me and flees in their classic low flying style under the tree in front of my car where I detect a beautiful male ready at his bower awaiting her arrival.
As it is Spring the male Satin Bowerbirds are in full courting and mating swing as females visit their bowers looking for a suitable mate. This is explained more in my book (mentioned above) and second book (to be published in new year) in greater detail. There are many bowers in this park for the many females to check them out. I was very blessed before leaving to actually view for the second time in my life the very rare privilege of the male dancing before the female as she stands in the bower.
It was a rather pathetic bower, and only had a few blue objects to decorate it, however, she had timed her arrival perfectly as he had build his bower in a perfect position to allow sunlight to come down right before the bower where he is standing which illuminates his beautiful satin plumage and impresses the female. Here is a short sequence of his dance, shot with much difficulty through a small hole in the thick bush) notice the female standing and observing his dance while standing in the bower.
On leaving I considered how blessed I am to be living here in this beautiful part of the world, and how each time I come to a park like this I am blessed to see new things, for which I am so grateful and delighted. I know that my Father God delights in delighting those who love him and appreciate his goodness, sharing the experience with them as a loving father does.
Enjoy your weekend and your freedom to ‘bird’ once again, for those out of lock-down and stay safe as the virus continues to lurk about like our enemy. Our state authorities trace it and continue to detect it in areas of our city’s sewerage. It continues to be found there even though reported cases are now zero.
If this is your first visit to my blog and website, check out my birding tips and information from my Homepage, and my book, which is the ideal Christmas gift. You can not buy it for a better price than here online.
The good news is that my next book “Flight of a Fledgling” has been negotiated for publishing in the first part of 2021, all being well. As book sales increase for the 2nd Edition of the first book we are praying for the necessary funds to be available before the close of this year.
W. A. Hewson (Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy).
‘To introduce people to our unique Australian birds,
‘So we can learn from them how to live a healthy and happy life.’
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, 2019, 2020.