Last weekend we traveled to the Blue Mountains National Park for the final stage of my wife’s birthday week with her children. We stayed in a home overlooking the Jamison Valley at Echo Point, Katoomba. This is our view as the local Pied Currawong clan hark in the morning.
This deep valley, lined by tall sheer sandstone cliffs, and is Australia’s favorite and most visited national park, especially the rock formation called the Three Sisters, from which we were only a five minute walk. You can see from the background how they came to be called the BLUE Mountains, by the eucalyptus vapour which rises from the gum leaves of the millions of trees in the valley which is larger than the Grand Canyon.
Most of the valley is dense rainforest and rivers, waterfalls and usually lots of rainforest birds. The most fun way to get down into the valley is by the Scenic Railway, which is the steepest railway in the world. The journey only lasts a few minutes and here’s why…
Katoomba is 1,017 meters above sea level so it got very cold very quickly at night, especially when the icy blast hit NSW on Saturday night. Sunday morning with 4°C wind chill I ventured out alone in the cold wind birding the local area while the family stayed warm inside. Even the Currawongs were quiet and the squawk of a lone Cockatoo was the only bird heard. To my surprise I came across several feeding flocks of Brown Thornbill energetically foraging through the trees and shrubs around Echo Point, as if the cold air had electrified them, as they moved so fast I could barely keep up with them.
This tiny insectivorous bird is a bird of all seasons and weather and sometimes when I am out birding in the worse windy weather these little guys will be merrily making their way up all manner of trees making their beautiful call. I love their little purring sound.
So here is some of the photos I managed to catch when the bird stopped moving for one second. They get their name from the little thorn like beak. These birds think and move up to five times faster than us and are very difficult to capture when moving. They have already thought about the next movement and worked out their move while I eyes have only just focused on the birds last position. Click on them to enlarge.
They spend most of the time moving upward within the thick dark branches of the tree and seldom are in good light to photograph, which makes them a challenge along with their constant movement.
There are several species of Thornbill of which the Brown is the most common. These birds are often found in MMFs (Mixed Feeding Flocks) often with other small insectivorous birds similar in size. No matter how strong the wind they manage to continue their rapid forage unimpeded.
Each evening the local Pied Currawong clan came in large number to roost in the tall eucalypts nearby, making their classic evening calls as they call in their flock. This very interesting and unique Aussie bird was a new addition to the 2nd Edition of my first book.
With omnivorous Corvid like characteristics it has a very opportunistic nature and has many beautiful calls which is often the first and last heard each day joining in with the Magpies, Kookaburra, Butcherbird and Miners along with any others to form the morning and evening chorus.
Occasionally the Eastern Crimson Rosella would land nearby as it joined the Currawong and the Red Wattlebird as they fed from the flowers and fruit in the yard next door.
The lack of birds was made up for by the lovely family bonding time shared by all as we shared my wife’s birthday enjoyed very special meals and explored the rainforest in the valley below, where the reduced light did not enable any good photos of the other common rainforest birds found also in our national park back home.
Enjoy your week as the seasons change all over the world, and beautiful autumn days with colder nights become the current norm for us Aussies.
Welcome to new visitors to my blog and website. Please check out my birding pages on my Home Page.
Check out my unique books on Australian birds and their interesting behaviours from which valuable life lessons are gleaned. Thank you to those Followers who have already made their online purchases, some have taken advantage of the special 2 book deal. Click on the book covers to find out more.
Some may have concerns that my books have religious content, but that is not true. Those of my blog Followers who have purchased my books will attest to this fact. My books are enjoyed by people of all cultures and beliefs, as well as those that claim no religious affiliation. This is because these books as counselling tools can show no religious bias. Much of modern counselling is derived from the wisdom of the scriptures, having been proven in time. I can assure you God and reference to my belief platform is not mentioned in either book. The books use the behaviour of our birds to help people to get more out of life by encouraging them to make good life choices. From the feedback I am constantly receiving, I am constantly delighted that they are doing just that.
Thornbills are very resilient little birds. They are a tiny super bird able to stand up to the most adverse conditions. There ability to think and reason at lightning speed along with their ability to continually move have helped preserve them. One thing we can learn from them is do not let your circumstances determine your attitude or emotional response. Similar to these birds it is possible to maintain a cool and rational approach to life’s curved balls when they hit us unexpectedly, as they do everyone at one time or another. This is one of the important issues dealt with in my new book “Flight of a Fledgling”, dealing with life’s unexpected challenges in a rational and peaceful manner.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (NIV)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
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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, 2021.