13 comments on “In All Kinds of Weather – The Thornbills

  1. Hello Ash!
    I can’t believe it is almost a month, but I am very much enjoying catch up on your articles that are always so lovingly written and a wealth of information. What a wonderful, and blessed birthday week it was for your wife and her children – and of course for you too. The views of the landscape and canyon are absolutely breathtaking and the steepest railway in the world must certainly not be for the faint of heart 🙂

    The little Thornbills (I can see why they get their English name!) are a real treat to view. My husband and I dream of visiting your beautiful country and seeming some of our human and avian friends (including our favorite waders such as whimbrels, godwits and the shy curlew) on the “other half of the hemisphere.” Until then, we do enjoy viewing your birds through your lens and writing.

    I think I am now all caught-up on the blog posts, and look forward to reading your latest article over the weekend. May you continue to stay blessed, safe and well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Takami, I always have joy and delight in your appreciative and grateful spirit for my blog posts, it is most encouraging. There are times when I wonder what to present and the Lord just hands it to me in unexpected ways. It wold be a lovely experience for both yourselves and us to have time together in our unique part of the world and do some birding together. I use to enjoy meeting birders from all over the world, mainly from the US, NZ and UK, but in recent years birders from India and Japan have also been occasionally included. I use to be told by the National Park cafe staff when there were birders looking for tips in our National Parks, but their absence is just another casualty of Covid. I occasionally meet new Aussie birders on holidays and give them a free birding walk which they are very thankful for. Some shops in high throughput overseas tourist areas will not stock my books because the Covid forbids overseas travelers(except NZ) entering our country, and they depend on it to survive. One of my main ones in the Mountains is reducing stock till things go back to normal as are several others, very concerned and having too much stock. Thank you for your prayers and support for the sales of my books they are truly appreciated. I have had an offer to go to a country town to do a special book signing day as they have sold so many of my books, the shop owner is paying for us to stay in expensive accommodation for the weekend. Things are slowly returning. I have an offer to do a special school presentation and book sale later in the year also, and waiting on another school which I have sold many books at in previous years to approve me having a good spot in their Community Festival which is back on again later this year. I am very thankful things are starting to move forward again, but the Covid concern never goes fully away. Keep waiting and resting on the Lord, renew your strength and rise up with eagles wings my friend. 🙂

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  2. I enjoyed seeing the videos of the pied currawongs and listening to their beautiful range of calls, one of my favourite birds. The currawongs in Tassie sound completely different, but I guess they would have the same behavioural characteristics as the pied currawongs on the mainland. And yes, those thornbills are so difficult to photograph well as they move so fast and are usually in low light, very frustrating! 🙂

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    • Thanks Sue, Yes your Black Currawong is very unique in Tassie, and I love the trumpeting sound it makes, it is very loud up close. The Thornbills are always a challenge to us photographers, which makes birding all the more interesting. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

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  3. Well done Ashley, the little Brown Thornbills are always easy to hear, but never that easy to get out in the open for a good photo. Then a few times a year they seem happy to be out from under the canopy. Lovely to see that ruby rich red eye.

    Ahh the Katoomba Railway. I didn’t know it had reopened. Not necessarily for the faint of heart. But to a ‘cool’ teenager, before ‘selfies’, quite a daring few minutes.

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    • Thanks David, yes the little Thornbills are one of our most challenging photographic subjects. Similar to the Tree Creepers and Rufous Fantail, they only look good in bright sunlight, and they tend to steer clear of it. Yes they only recently had the railway going again, as it was closed during Covid and completely refurbished with new enclosed carriages, not as fun as the open ones, but better for poor weather. My wife was terrified going down as she has trouble with fast downward motion. They have improved the boardwalks through the rainforest below and remains quite intact with vines and lianas and the occasional bird, but too dark for good photos. Enjoy the weekend.

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    • Thanks Donna, It was especially special to her being able to share it with her children, we had such a lovely weekend and enjoyed some fun together, which meant the absence of birds was not a problem on this occasion. 🙂

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  4. The Thornbird is so cute. Its round little body reminds me of our Bushtits here in the Western US.

    That train going down the mountain reminded me of the time when I was a kid we went to the Lewis and Clark Cavern in Montana one year as a side trip while on vacation. We had to ride up to the mouth of the cave in little open train cars, and the climb was steep. My mother who is terrified of heights was a mess. We kids loved it- the ride down was the most fun for us, but not her, unfortunately.

    Years later as an adult I took my husband and son there and they had dismantled the train and now you have to hike up. The train got too rickety and dangerous the guide said so they shut it down. I’m glad I had a chance to ride it was back when!

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    • Thanks for sharing Deborah, My wife was the same as your mum, she was terrified of going down hill also, even in the car due to a past bad experience, and she screamed as we all enjoyed the ride down. This train was remade recently I think as it was an open carriage and you could hang out of it, it is now all weather and safer, with different seat adjustments for the fearful or the brave. It was originally a coal miners train to move coal from the valley to the top many years ago, and lay idle for many years till someone had the idea of making a tourist attraction out of it. The old mine and the tools they used can be seen as part of the rainforest walk in the valley. We can come back up also by Scenic Cableway. Thanks again for sharing your experience, I appreciate it Deborah 🙂

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