17 comments on “A New Year Brings New Hopes and Experiences – Birding 2021

  1. Hello Ash!
    First and foremost a very Happy New Year to you and Mrs H!
    Thank you very much for your messages (we received them safely!) and I’m sorry for the long silence. As you have already observed, the ongoing pandemic continues to affect the world including our country. It has been a manic couple of weeks but we are doing well and staying safe. I will write a detailed update soon, so please look forward to it 🙂

    What a treat to “start off” the year with more views and insight into your beautiful Australian birds! I am so happy your prayer was answered, and your niece was blessed with views of the Sacred Kingfisher! Seeing the Australasian Grebes (I think our Little Grebes are the same subspecies!) raising their young brought a ray of hope to my day.

    With our continued best wishes and prayers to you and Mrs H – I’ll be in touch soon!

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    • Thanks Takami, so pleased you are both doing well. We prayed an additional prayer for you both before we went to sleep last night, and I read this message the next morning. We likewise have had renewed concerns which have made Sydney a hot spot and masks are mandatory or fines ensure. It has been a concern for my wife especially when people with symptoms present untested having to send them away. The Lord gave us a lovely New Years day away sharing it with my wife’s family. Yes the Australasian Grebe was reclassified from the name Australian Little Grebe and may be known by people overseas as the Australasian Little Grebe, so yes they are virtually the same with very minor differences but in a different location. Many of our birds were reclassified into new subspecies for geographical correctness, I mention this in my next book. The Purple Swamphen is now the Australasian Swamphen etc. The amazing thing about these birds is that they spend their whole life on the water and almost never come to land. Enjoy your week my friend. 🙂

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    • Thanks Hans, it is always wonderful start to the day to hear the morning chorus, especially the Magpie with its very unique dual sounding notes. I guess winter must be a very quiet time for your birds in the snow if they have not migrated they would be trying to find food or access their food stashes..

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      • Yes, it’s starting to get quiet in the woods. Those who overwinter are busy finding something edible, even though the winters have become significantly milder in the last 20 years. But the other day I could get close to a flock of four different tit’s just by imitating a small sparrow owl. They do not like it.

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  2. Well, I have never seen a pelican in a tree. That would be quite the sight. And the magpies are so cool looking. There is a post where they put photos of the spoonbills down in Florida and they are pink there. So pretty all of them. I love the scripture, lean not on your own understanding. Those are such powerful words in these trying times. I lean on the One who knows all. Thank you.

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    • Thanks Sandra, so true it is such peace to know we have One so big and also so loving to lean on in these uncertain and dangerous times, it is a great comfort. We love seeing Spoonies, especially in their breeding plumage with their amazing hair dos. Yes those pink ones that your folk have posted recently are so bright and beautiful, almost like flamingos in colour.

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  3. Sounds, and looks, like a great start to the year.
    I remember this time last year we were leaving a fire zone and the air was thick with a rich yellow smoke.
    Fortunately none of our family were directly impacted, but it was a stange way to spend the start of the year at a fire refuge saftey area. Little did we know then as we all sat around in close groups that such an activitiy was going to be just about impossible this year.
    Best of luck with your planning.

    We currently have a nesting Sacred Kingfisher on the go. Dorothy (EE to the blog readers) found it about 3 weeks back, and the young will be on the wing before we know it.

    Duskys always are a pleasure to find and the calls of the young have a distinct sound all their own.
    Most seasons we get remarkable numbers, but so far its been more a handful here and there.
    Bee-eaters are the same, despite much searching we have not had a good influx in our normal areas.
    Perhaps the action is further inland this season.
    Been watching the ABC series Australia Remastered narrated by Aaron Pederson. The insight into the seasons as the original peoples saw it, has bene fascinating and caused us to ponder quite a bit.

    Looking forward to seeing your vision of the world around you.

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    • Thanks David, yes quite a different start to the year, free of smoke, but not free of virus. I was speaking with my publisher this morning and we laughed at how things virus wise are repeating like this time last year, when I was in the throws of publishing also at this time. Love the Kingfishers, yes our wives are great spotters, and we have been witnessing several arboreal ant nests raising youngsters. We have grown accustomed to their yappy calls. We also have grown fond of Duskys they are good parents. I love the way they glide. We never see Bee-eaters here, have to go inland and north, hope numbers pick up, we are concerned that many were incinerated down south and have not appeared here this summer. We were delighted to see one Rufous Fantail a week ago, but that was all, as we missed seeing them in Winter when we normally do. Yes the seasons of our original inhabitants make more sense, especially in the top end. I did see a doco on that in a bus when touring up there many years ago. It is very interesting as their weather patterns are different to the northern hemisphere. Have you seen any Red Capped around down there, we have lost our only family during the smoke last year and never returned. Thanks for your encouraging words, and all the best to you and Dorothy for the new year. One day when all this clears we hope to finally do a road trip through your area to the Ocean Road again, but two years have passed and we have not been able. Not even sure now whether my grand son can come next week or we can visit my other grandies and friends ina couple more, it is day by day here as we now are learning to live with compulsory masks for the first time. Hope the weather fines up for some birding, at least we are getting rain, and some classic Victorian winter weather in the midst of Summer, which I love, as I hate the humidity, and love the cool southerlies and noreasters. Enjoy your week and stay safe my friend 🙂

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  4. I am always delighted when you share your corellas and parrots, I so wish we had these colorful birds here in the U.S. (besides at the zoo!). Your captures of the lone pelican on the crooked branch with the blue sky and clouds are marvelous! I am so glad 2020 is over with, but I do worry whether we will reach any normalcy before the end of 2021. You’re right, time will tell.

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    • Thanks Donna, yes we are blessed with a wonderful selection of beautiful Parrots, many with various names, and all very capable of learning speech and becoming multi lingual. Yes we are currently experiencing a resurgence after an amazing period free of virus and we are so pleased our government are so pro active in tracking down suspects. They even trace the sewerage each day to find traces of the virus in areas. We have to wear masks now and may not get to see our grandies as planned these summer holidays so it is day by day for us, praying that it might still take place. Keep safe my friend and enjoy the week.

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  5. You get to see so many nice birds, Ashley. We are in winter and most of birds have migrated from my area. I have only the locals. You’re lucky to have such variety at hand. Good post, my friend. 🙂

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