To mark the achievement of finally reaching the goal to publish my next book, which is now with the publisher for publishing early next year, I went for a mindful reflective walk to celebrate and give thanks for the Lord’s faithfulness for bringing it to pass amazingly in such a short time from the sales of the previous book, as he had assured me would occur. No better place than our local Nasho (The Royal NP). One of the topics covered in my new book is the healthy advantages of enjoying frequent Mindful Moments in our lives. So I decided to showcase a little of the rainforest vegetation and birds that afford me opportunity to embrace mindful moments, refreshing and revitalizing my spirit. If you have not already done so why not read my info on the scientific facts on the Benefits of Birding.
Before I entered the rainforest I was encouraged to see the Mountain Devil flowering again in the park after the drought, as it appeared to be absent the last few years. This is a significant mountain flower for long beaked honeyeaters during the winter months.
Sadly it was overcast and extremely glary with diffused light which affected all my high tree shots, requiring much post production. As I walked I heard the relentless call of an immature Sacred Kingfisher sitting beside the nest, which is inside a arboreal termite nest. I had been checking several nests on the way, and all in similar locations. Kookaburras and Kingfishers all use these nests for their own nests, poking entrance holes with their strong beaks.
calling for food
This what it sounded like:
Suddenly I was startled by a flash of bright red as a Eastern Crimson Rosella flew past and landed nearby. I had heard its chime earlier and now it had landed to see what I was up to.
Nearby a shy male Australian King Parrot rested, watching me out of the corner of his eye.
As I walked I heard a not so common bird calling and moving rapidly through the trees in a pair. At first I could not work out what it was, but as I listened I later realised it was a Brown Gerygone, one of the most difficult birds to get a decent photo of. It has a call much like its name sounding like: “geryg- onee”, but like many of our birds it has many variations of a theme.
Here is its call:
As I looked up higher I was delighted to see a Satin Flycatcher resting.
Then I heard the calls of the Lewins Honeyeater nearby, as they tend to come near to check me out and then give there loud staccato call.
In the midst of all this activity a father and juvenile fledgling Golden Whistler were moving about undercover inside the darkness of some thick trees. I managed to detect them as they occasionally came into dappled light. Whistlers would have recently fledged their young, and this was the youngest I have seen of this bird still in its brown and white plumage. Junior was squeaking for food, and the father seemed to be escaping its calls as it relentlessly followed.
Father Golden Whistler
juvenile Golden Whistler
juvenile Golden Whistler
The Golden Whistler has many different tunes which he sings at various seasons and times of day, depending on what he is doing and who is with him, here is a small combo I heard from this bird:
Of course a Grey Fantail was not too far away and came to check me out as they do, right up close.
As I walked to one of my favorite spots I saw a fallen branch over the track. It had broken off the eucalypt tree during the recent strong winds, and to my intrigue I detected a large pile of honeycomb which had fallen with the beehive, which the bees appeared to be continuing to service. Dead bees laid there as well.
The sound of the busy little White-browed Scrubwren came to my attention from the nearby embankment as it foraged in a small hole observing me with interest. I love watching these little guys move about. It is possible that this little covered hole in the bank was a nest.
As I walked on I saw this very interesting sight. A palm growing out of the top of another tree. The tree may have been struck by lightning and the centre fallen out, but this had become a fertile place for this palm to thrive. It is not a an epiphyte like other rainforest plants such as Elkhorns and Staghorns, but normally grows on terra firma. It should become quite interesting and attractive in the next few years.
As I walked deeper into the forest I heard the sound of soil falling from the rock ledge above me. To my surprise it was a young male Superb Lyrebird, probably in its first year. I noticed the very bright rufous neck, and later the forming lyricals in very early stages. He was not afraid of me, which tells me he is young also, as males in particular are shy of humans. He cautiously walked along the ridge watching me follow him.
As I walked back to my car I heard a male Lyrebird performing (dancing to his own beat). This is the classic sound they make as they move back and forth opening and closing their wings when they display for a female they wish to mate with. I thought he is probably just practicing his routine, as the mating period is over now. I just manged to get a glimpse of him down by the river in the thick dark cover of a native fig. I shot some movie with much trouble as I could hardly see anything under the darkness.
The male tail
When I enhanced the movie I found that it was rare footage of a male performing for a female who seemed disinterested as she foraged. He has missed the boat as the breeding season ended early spring.
Finally, as I was about to leave I noticed the water lilies flowering again as they do each year on the Hacking River. Such a beautiful carpet of yellow flowers all open together.
Thank you for coming with me on this walk. Enjoy the week and get out in the fresh air among the trees and birds and experience your own Mindful Moment:
EXPRESS your gratitude and appreciation for the beauty and peace of the forest, allowing each of your senses to separately engage with the moment;
CARE-LESS meaning leave behind your cares and worries and let them fall to the ground around you as you enjoy your mindful moment. Thoughts of what others thinks, or what is currently on your mind worrying you – this is a time to not let these things intrude;
DE-STRESS by allowing your senses to earth you and allow this moment to relax you, lower your blood pressure, release feel good endorphins, and make you think of good things, being thankful for what you are experiencing without making any judgments, just allow yourself the gift of enjoyment;
REFRESH yourself as you consider how beautiful and amazing it all is. As you leave the place with a renewed vitality and peace. Give thanks for all you are and all you have to the One who gives life itself to everything. Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart.
“Let them givethanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,” – Psalm 107:8 (NIV)
The good news is that my next book “Flight of a Fledgling” is with the publisher and being prepared for publication early 2021. I know many have been sportively encouraging this book along as it is packed with not only interesting facts about our birds, many from recent research, but life skills at a greater depth than the previous books, with a target reading age of 16 to adult focusing on the late teen and young adult leaving the nest, but with help for all ages.
Below is a sound file of Ashley’s Aussie Avian Aria. Silly as it sounds, it is a compilation of me making music with the birds. Listen to it and see how many different species of birds you can hear, and how many you can name. Next week I will give you answers. It is a bit tricky, but have ago and see what you come up with and write your answer somewhere or include it in your comment. You may be surprised !
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.’