Recently my wife and I visited our nation’s capital Canberra to visit family and places where my books are sold. One of the activities we did with my wife’s sister and brother-in-law was to visit Mulligan’s Flat Woodland Sanctuary. This wildlife reserve is the only one in Australia that is totally enclosed with very tall electrical fencing to prevent the intrusion of predators and ecologically destructive pests such as foxes, rabbits, dogs, deer, ferule cats etc as the reserve caretakers re introduce animals that have long since gone from this region, in the hope of repopulating the natural wildlife.

It was a cold and windy day for Spring and many of the birds were not present, however on arrival my wife and her sister spotted a bright green bird in a Wattle tree. We stopped and started discovering several male and female Superb Parrots quietly feeding on the Wattle beans. The Wattle trees are currently all forming seed pods which provide the most current food source for all of the various species in the Parrot family. Australia is blessed with many species of beautifully colored Parrot, Cockatoo, Rosella and Lorikeet. These birds are able to skillfully extract the seeds from the bean in one process without needing to hold them, as you will see below. The male has the beautiful yellow and red coloration and the female the pale green.

They did not mind us watching them feed and were quite content to continue.

Walking through the woodland toward the gate entrance we always find the large Eastern Grey Kangaroo. The males a huge and it was wise for us not to approach them as they were with their females. One was rubbing his tummy in a strange way. Kangaroos are macropod marsupials that graze on grass and leafy vegetation and are mainly nocturnal feeders which start moving about to grazing areas at dusk and rest through the day like most Australian animals. Many are killed on roads as they move about at night. There meat is one of the healthiest red meats one can eat being low in fat and high in protein.

As we walked through reserve we noticed this juvenile Eastern Crimson Rosella near its nest as the parent looked on. Notice the patchy changing plumage.

We saw several species of wildflower uncommon to us in our area.

This lone wind blown Eastern Rosella kept its distance from us in a far away tree. These beautiful birds are very shy of humans.

As we left having not seeing many birds on our short stay, my wife spotted this White-winged Chough nest. They make one of the largest mud nests of any bird. The Choughs are a very committed and organised community, and all the birds in the flock participate in all of the duties in nesting, guarding, protecting and raising the young.


Have a most enjoyable week and stay safe and well. Several of you are grieving and experiencing health issues with family and self, we continue to keep you in our prayers.

Click on the image below to purchase the Beautiful Bird Books:


Some have asked if there is a third book in the pipeline, and the answer is yes there is and it is 2 thirds complete. it will use birds to springboard into mindful reflections. It will possibly be published later in the coming year.

Some of you may also be wondering how the little Grebe chicks are going. Sadly there is only one left now as the other two were most likely taken by predators, possibly the Kingfisher. However the lone Dusky Moorhen chick is growing and doing well.

What makes the Grebe babies more vulnerable to predation is that their parent swims under water and spends much longer away from their babies as they search for small fish, whereas the Dusky Moorhen feed their chicks on water weed which they can quickly pluck in seconds from the bottom of the pond and return to the surface. The Duskies are more aggressive also.

the lone baby Grebe

This reminds us of the awareness we need to have when little children are in our care, to always keep our eyes on them and not be distracted, as it only takes seconds for a child to fall into a pond or swimming pool, put themselves in a dangerous situation or run out onto a busy road, oblivious of the dangers. We can easily get busy doing important and necessary things, and take our attention away, but there needs to always be thoughtful awareness and consideration for ensuring the safety of those in our care. Many young parents today are distracted with their eyes fixed on their mobile phones as they flick through social media pages, when they need to be interacting with their children and playing with them. It is so easy to be absorbed in the moment or video, and then discover in alarm that their child is gone out of their sight. This is less likely to happen when caring for our children and grandchildren is a priority when they are in our care, as they need us more than we realize, not only for their growth and development but also for their safety, correction and direction. The need to be mindfully alert and aware is more needed to day than ever.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good.” – Titus 3:1


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‘To introduce people to our unique Australian birds,

To 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.

8 Comments »

  1. Hello Ash,
    White-winged Chough – many thanks to your wife for spotting this bird so that you could introduce it to your international readers 🙂 It is the first time I hear of this bird and it’s a real joy to learn something new.

    Ah, now I see that only 1 chick has survived from the Grebe family. Our Little Grebes here face similar challenges, but in our case herons, crows and turtles often target the chicks. As such, whenever we see any adult bird, my husband and I admire it for being a true survivor and appreciate it more 🙂

    Your lesson on the importance of parents focusing their attention on their children rings true. Many a time we see parents seemingly more absorbed in their phone screens than their children…it is a difficult and sensitive topic, but I also feel that the great majority are often preoccupied with their phones and therefore lose the opportunity to be “in the moment” and at times risk their own safety and that of others.

    Thank you for another great post, and for featuring your kangaroos too – a real treat for international readers like me.

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    • Thanks Takami,
      The Chough is a very interesting bird and very different. It is very similar in social structure and foraging habits to the Apostlebird which are often found not far from each other. They on pages 21 and 22 of Flight of a Fledgling. The Chough (pronounced chuff) is peculiar in that it is known to kidnap young birds from other Chough clans to forcefully work in their clan, as they believe they need a particular number of birds to nest and raise their young together. I checked the Grebes yesterday and one chick is doing well, as we thought it had been taken when we did not see it for a few days. Thanks Takami for you encouraging comments.

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    • Thanks Deborah, Kangaroos are quiet common in the country areas but not in cities, however our Capital city is very unusual as it was built in a country area half way between our two largest cities Sydney and Melbourne to placate the rival states, on sheep paddocks where thousands of Kangaroos continue to feed each night. Yes we are blessed to have so many very beautiful parrots and cockatoo. Enjoy your week my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a great trip to see the Parrots. Such an awesome colour set.
    ‘Roos are pretty safe with me, I’m veggo.:-)

    Interesting about the young Grebes. We too don’t have a high success rate. I’ve seen them harassed by ravens that work as a team, so its game over very quickly.

    Not much a tiny Grebe can do to defend its young, maybe those that have better access to reeds to hide, but even that doesn’t seem to help.
    Like the Willies I put up today, the usual response is to bounce back again as soon as possible with another clutch.

    I have a theory that later clutches are more successful as the bigger birds usually only have one clutch, so are not looking for as much food later in the season. Theory only!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David, it is sad to see the losses the birds incur each season, especially waterbirds which are ‘sitting ducks’ to frame a term. Grebes offer no real power of defense against airborne predictors especially as you say they are out in the lake away from reed protection, and with parent submerged for 20 seconds. But as you shared they seem resilient to re clutch and succeed. I was surprised our resident Crested Pigeons had one clutch immediately after another with two live babies in each loosing only one, but predation on our local waterbird babies has been high this year. Yes Ravens, Currawongs and Kingfisher have all had a go but they managed to last a week, now we do not know where the last chick is or one of the parents, only saw one parent last visit. feeding alone. The Superb finding was an unexpected gift, though these birds are one of the great finds in this park, and the wattle seed podding time made it possible to get close to them. 🙂

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  3. Thanks Lisa Beth, yes our Creator is most definitely the Great Art Master and all our artistic ability derives from him. The Chough is a very peculiar bird with several unique behaviours, which include kidnapping birds from other Chough clans to work on their nesting and food gathering projects. I cook a really nice Kangaroo steak but it tastes best marinated in a garlic source as the meat has a strong gamy taste which many, like my wife, do not like. I use to feed my pet cat when I was a young boy a large chunk of raw Roo meat every day and that was all we fed it and it lived a ripe old age. Enjoy your week sister 🙂

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  4. What exquisite birds, the parrot and Eastern Crimson Rossela! I just marvel at our Creator’s artwork.
    The White wing Chough nest is fascinating. I had to look for more on them and found it may take months to build that nest. They might even use emu or cattle dung. How diligent and hardworking!
    Thank you for another fabulous post. You always stir me to seek more about these wonderful Aussie finds!
    P.S. first time I’m hearing about kangaroo meat! I think I’d have a psychological issue, like Aussies remembering lovable Skippy!

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