As time unrelentingly drives us into 2021 we all hope for a better year, but for many it is already appearing to look a lot like the last, as new spikes and clusters occur and restrictions are again enforced. The lone Royal Spoonbill stands high on a dead tree overlooking Lake Albert in Wagga Wagga pondering the New Year on its first day, as the wind blows through its breeding plumage.
The Australian Pelican joined the Spoonbill possibly curious as to what it was seeing up there, and then a pair came to also see, finally one left for the water, having failed to catch the Spoonbills vision.
What unknown events and experiences lie before each of us in this new age of uncertainty and rapidly changing circumstances, only time will tell ? Our year started with the morning chorus of the Australian eastern Magpie calling to another magpie from a nearby clan. This little guy is still immature and about 2 years old. Listen to the changes in vocal content communicated between the birds as these highly intelligent birds converse.
Later my wife’s niece showed us a walk along the Murrumbidgee River in Wagga Wagga where we saw beautiful old River Gums and a very large flock of Long-billed Corella grazing on the grassy horse paddocks nearby. These birds have become more frequent in eastern Australia in recent years and vary from the Little Corella (which we have at home) in that they have a longer beak, bright red lores and a red neck line marking. Similar to others of the Parrot family they pair for life.
This one caused me to consider on this first day as he scratched his head pensively while looking at me.
Young Nikki, my wife’s niece, has been confined to a wheel chair for several years and she said she would love to see a Sacred Kingfisher by the river. I sent up a silent prayer for one to appear, as we could hear one calling but could not see it, and one appeared to me on a branch just then on a nearby tree in the horse paddock, which was an instant delight to us all, as she viewed it through my wife’s binocs.
The local council had developed lovely walks and wetlands access to a portion of the river where we saw this small brood of juvenile Australasian Grebe with parent displaying breeding plumage.
My wife sighted a black snake swimming rapidly in the water nearby, but I was not able to capture a shot of it as it approached the grassy bank. Later returning to the lake we saw a pair of Galah, a bird commonly found in large flocks out west, another member of the Parrot family that pairs for life.
But the bird I wanted to see again was the Dusky Woodswallow which was nesting last time we visited and now has a couple of juvenile offspring which the parent guarded relentlessly, attacking approaching birds and even myself at times.
It was good also to review the PeeWee (Magpie-lark) family as we saw the mother with her hungry child. Notice the face markings, as these determine both sex and maturity.
Another bird we love seeing here are the Red-rumped Parrot pairs, and yes they were here by the river feeding on grass seed and resting in the shade with their young. The female is green with a green rump and the male has a beautiful iridescent turquoise head with a red rump. I was delighted to see a juvenile sitting with its mother in the shade, as well as an unusual view of an immature male sitting near a Little Friarbird in the shade..
The tiny White-plumed Honeyeater, another bird we see inland here had a youngster also she was feeding.
We saw a lone Little Friarbird, which is another honeyeater also quietly foraging.
Lastly the other bird we love to see here which is only found inland south, the Yellow Rosella which is strangely classified as the Yellow Crimson Rosella.
A wonderful New Years Day birding gift to start the year, for which we were truly thankful. There were of course other birds, but it just all gets to big to include them.
Have a lovely first week of 2021 as best you can considering the current circumstances.
If this is your first visit to my blog, you will find lots more interesting info on birding and bird behaviour in my web site pages and at my Home Page.
I will let you know more about my new book as we move through the publishing process in the month ahead.
One of the topics covered in my new book is about flying with purpose and the importance of using our time wisely by having good achievable life goals for each year. The adult Dusky Woodswallow below is flying with purpose to protect its offspring from intruders and possible predators. It is wise for me to have a sense of purpose and direction for this year, even though some areas are closed to me, such as school talks due to the continuing Covid. I seek the Lord’s guidance, since the manufacturer knows whats best for the product he has made, and it is wise to follow his instructions for a enjoyable and fulfilling life. Below are some words from one of the world’s wisest and wealthiest kings, Solomon, to take us into the new year:
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” – Proverbs 3: 5-8 (NIV)
Sadly, James the Just, brother to Jesus, wrote these words to people who had lost focus on their primary life goal and become selfish, self focused and distracted:
“You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:2-3
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.