It was mid-week and my wife and I decided to have a birding date preceded by a lovely breakfast at the local Nasho cafe before our rainforest walk, as we expected their would be less walkers and riders on the tracks, which to our delight was the case, in the early part. We met several couples, like ourselves, and some birders,  enjoying a stroll along the track, which brought to our attention this Collared Sparrow-hawk while chatting.

It was quiet, but for some pockets of cicadas, which had driven many songbirds deeper into the forest, because of their loud incessant noise. Many birds had also finished nesting and are fledged, so their parents had become quieter. This was the first warm day we had in a week of most unseasonable cold, wet windy weather. We came across this Red-browed Finch, one of the Firetails, which could be called Red-browed Firetail, as you can see below. This little guy was using a small tree to position a blade of grass seed while he ate from it.

We just loved its little expressions as it wondered what we were up to watching.

Further on this female Superb Fairy-wren was preening in the sun. The male kept  out of sight from us. The female is the unattractive one in the species and does not change its plumage during breeding like the male. This of course is of great value in keeping hidden from predators when nesting. Click a photo to enlarge.

To our delight I spotted the Rufous Fantail again. It has appeared now that several families of this bird, which mainly see in Winter for a few of weeks are now residing here, possibly because of destruction of habitat by devastating 2020 bushfires. It is always a buzz to both capture this bird in bright sunlight and while not moving around too much, both seldom occur.

As we approached the picnic clearing this Eastern Water Dragon was sunning himself on one of the seats. Males have a rufous chest that becomes bright red during breeding season.

As we walked further, one of the walkers was photographing this Short-nosed Echidna foraging by the track. These unusual monotremes, of which the Platypus is the other, are the only mammals that lay eggs outside their body.

These creatures were called Spiny Ant-eaters and are not at all a kind of Porcupine. The echidna has spines like a porcupine, a beak like a bird, a pouch like a kangaroo, and lays eggs like a reptile. What an interesting creature.

As we walked on I heard the chime of the King Parrot as he hid in the dark of a tree, but I managed to enhance his appearance for you.

King Parrot male

Finally, we saw a pair of juvenile Pacific Baza resting in trees high on the side of the track. The rufous neck markings indicate their immaturity. We have seen Baza here a year ago being harassed by Noisy Miners. However, the main diet of Baza or Crested Hawk as they are also known because of their head dress, is large insects, frogs and native fruits.

They have an unusual hunting technique whereby they fly into trees and catch prey as they move rapidly through the canopy. Here are some flight shots we managed to catch. Remember that these have had to be lightened up because of the dark under-story.

Though we did not see or hear as many species as usual on this walk, we were delightfully rewarded with some special moments, for which we are truly grateful.


Have a most enjoyable week. I have noticed our northern friends are experiencing extremely cold conditions at present, which in itself is a challenge apart from the Covid. We pray you all stay well through this season. We have been experiencing a colder and wetter Summer in contrast to the drought, heatwaves and bushfires this time last year.  If this is your first visit to my Blog and Website, Welcome. Check out my Menu at the top of this page. Some of my pages have been recently updated. Don’t forget fellow Aussies to keep your birdbaths filled and cleaned, especially during the Summer months when you can enjoy your local birds calling around for a wash and a drink. To find our more about birdbaths Click here.


I was walking in my local park yesterday and sighted several immature Magpies. One of a pair was acting strangely. After walking about foraging it simply laid down by the track, unperturbed by my close presence. A little time later I found it in this position, which was even stranger. Was it sick or wounded, I did not know? Its sibling seemed to continue foraging normally.

It just lay peering into the weeds. Birds are known to lie down and spread their wings in the sun, but it was not doing this, and it was not sunny. It also occurred the bird may have just been resting in an unusual manner, or maybe It may not have been successful in its foraging and was undernourished. Such thoughts came and went. Many times when we hear and see people do things out of character we easily make judgments based on what we know or think when the person may be having a difficult or stressful time and just need some encouragement and someone to ask “How are you going ?” Just listening to a person share their pain and their story actually lowers their stress level and helps them process their thoughts, which gives better understanding to both them and yourself. A life can be saved simply taking the time, when we see someone acting out of character and removed and quiet, by asking and listening.

“let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—” – Proverbs 1:5

“To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.” – Proverbs 18:13

 


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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.

 

21 Comments »

  1. Wonderful shots, Ashley! I always enjoy seeing your Red-browed Finch, nice shots. Magnificent shots of the Baza too! How cute the Short-nosed Echidna is, and a very interesting creature. I know you said it was not a porcupine, but does it shoot their spikes for protection?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Donna, thanks again for your encouraging comments. The answer to the spikes question is no, the Echidna’s spikes remain spiked and do not retract, it lives with the constant protection, always active. Enjoy your weel my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Ash,
    What a wonderful (and peaceful) birding date this must have been. I could not help but smile at the varied expressions of the Red-browed Finch – such character! I personally feel that the female Fairy Wren has a refined subtle beauty, and I am glad here less-showy characteristics help keep her safe from harm. Seeing not only birds but the other remarkable wildlife (and gaining more insight into their behaviors) is a real treat as well.

    May you, Mrs H and all your family have a blessed weekend ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Takami for your warm appreciative comments, they are always appreciated. Yes the female Fairy-wren is often left out and seldom gets a look in because she is not as colourful as the male, so it is good to let her shine occasionally on her own. The finches are always a delight if they stay still enough to photograph. I love how the birds display character like we do, it adds a beautiful dimension to our enjoyment of our avian friends, it reminds us that they have feeling and expression also. Have a wonderful weekend my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks to have been a fine day out indeed. The Rufous would be such a bonus for me. We might luck out a couple of weeks a year as they rush through to/from Tasmania, but its more good luck than any thing.

    The little Magpie is a strange tale. What I have noted this year, and only because I’ve been a tad more observant, is how many birds seem to like to sit ‘tummy down’ on the ground. Not hazing in the sun, but simply pressing their tummies on the ground. No doubt you’ve seen dogs do a similar thing as they scrape along the ground all fours spread out.
    No idea if its the same for birds,

    So quick we are to answer sometimes without even understanding what is required.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David, yes it is so out of season to see Rufous, as like yourself we only see them for a few weeks during winter normally as they are passing north but to see them here for several weeks in Summer and several families is most unusual. The tummy ground thing with birds is very interesting, as you shared and as I have shared in previous blog, there are several purported reasons for them doing it. It is more of significant purpose if their wings are outstretched in the sunshine. Maybe like dogs it just makes them feel good on the warm ground though for dogs they mainly scoot to attempt to clear their blocked anal sex glands. When all is said your words of great wisdom ring true, yes we are only postulating, and like us humans, birds can be just doing it because it makes them feel good.

      Like

  4. Beautiful post! Thank you for such a diverse display, including the Echadna, what a peculiar animal! I love the Rufous Fantail, such design and color, would outdo any fashionista.
    Yes brother Ashley, we’re having a cold winter up north! Lots of snow here in MA where I happen to be. Lots of birds around the snow and our feeders… besides the cardinals and blue Jays, I am determined to identify the others to share with you!
    Thank you again for this beautiful post, may the Lord surprise you and inspire you as you and your wife walk with Him.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Lisa Beth, I am always encouraged by your appreciative comments which give glory and honor to our Lord. It great that you are able to help out your birds up there when it is cold. We have heard how difficult the weather is for you all there, I do love your Blue Jays, and would not mind one flying off course to Sydney just to see one. Blessings of safety and enjoyable discoveries for you both also as you enjoy the rest of the week and weekend dear sister. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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