After 2 years of Covid restrictions we finally were able to have two of my grandsons stay over with us for 4 days, even amid the third more infectious and widespread wave of Covid as Omicron and Delta do their number on our country, and in particular our city. We were delighted when the boys shared how they were looking forward to going out birding with us to our National Parks and reserves. My daughter’s son Jesse armed with his SLR and 100-400 mm lens (his mum is a professional photographer and graphic designer) and the other with binoculars (his dad is the film editor for a TV station, and produced the promo for my first book).

The morning before we took possession of the grandies, two of our friends from church had breakie with us at our local Royal National Park cafe, as they, like many who spend time with us both, had started developing an interest in birds and birding, especially since our last breakie with them when they saw many nesting birds they would never have realized were so close. So we had a walk afterwards with binoculars in tow. Leaving them, we took delivery of 2 of my 4 grandies, and they immediately asked to go out birding, as they love getting out and discovering, as young tech minds do.

Both boys are quite advanced into coding and program writing, games, robotics etc and they are only in high school, so getting out in the fresh air and exploring new things was what they needed and what they knew their Pa had on the menu, as other activities we enjoy together were put on hold due to Covid. So here are some of the birds they saw in the Nasho. We heard but did not see the Lyrebird, which I was hoping to see , nor the Azure Kingfisher, but were rewarded to hear and see the Green Catbirds, with their juvenile, in full sun, a special gift, as these birds are normally very shy and like to hide and watch you amid the thick rainforest canopy.

Juvenile Green Catbird in full sun.

The parents were also present with the youngster.

Hearing their call just made our day, and that of the boys, so they could here how it sounded like a cat. You may need to turn up your volume to hear it.

Green Catbird calling

While we saw many birds I will only feature a few from this park. The Eastern Yellow Robin made its appearance, a bird we had not seen for a while. This is the bird featured on the cover of my second book Flight of a Fledgling.

The Rainbow Lorikeets were making a racket when we started our walk as they were drinking and bathing in a large pool of water captured high up in an angophora tree branch, We have seen them here on previous occasions after rain.

Others were feeding on the few remaining nectar producing flowers, such as this Banksia ericifolia head.

But the the young Lace Monitors were on the move in several places throughout the park. This one was causing the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and the Noisy Miners alarm, though it was no threat.

Lace Monitor junior
Cockies reacting to the Lace Monitor’s presence

This youngster was in pursuit of food from picnickers and was making his way stealthily to a couple dining near the river, who sent it on its way empty-handed.

We noticed this Eastern Water Dragon sunning itself in the tall grass, which is quite unusual, as it usually lies on the table of the picnic bench nearby.

The Sacred Kingfisher appeared for a short visit as it was fishing in the water. I missed its catch of a small fish.

The next day we visited Sydney Olympic Park, where the Sydney 2000 Olympics were held, and explored the lakes and walks through the Mangroves, where many exercise. We usually see many Superb Fairy-wren families and Black-winged Stilts, though we did not see the resident flock of Red-necked Avocet on this occasion. The White-faced Heron, Eastern Great Egret, Royal Spoonbill and Black-fronted Dotterel were also present, though the Masked Lapwing kept chasing them away. Breeding numbers were down this year. It was a very humid hot day, and we all found it tiring, going home afterward for a rest, as we had worn them out.

Our own Australian native Hibiscus was also in flower.

native Hibiscus

After much fun, several dad jokes and several board game challenges with their new 7 Wonders board game, it was time to take the boys back, and so we did yesterday and also visited the Hunter Wetlands Centre, which was conveniently near where one of the grandies lived. The feature of this place, which is run entirely by volunteers, is the flock of Magpie Geese, which they are attempting to re habituate south eastern Australia with. These very unique birds to Australia found mainly in the tropical north, have only a partially webbed foot.

This family of Australian Black Swan were another feature of our visit.

This beautiful specimen of an Australasian Swamphen had to be included in this post.

Australasian Swamphen posing

This centre has a lovely captive breeding program for our endangered Freckled Duck, which most people never see. This beautiful bird is often seen with other bird flocks in freshwater inland lakes, mainly up north.

After fighting off the mosquitoes, which were numerous, due to our very wet humid summer, we made our way to my son’s home for a lovely BBQ lunch. It was lovely that we finally had one on one time with these boys which had been cancelled 4 times previous in the past 2 years, due to Covid.

Have a most enjoyable week and keep safe. We are finding almost every shop and place we visit, we get Covid alerts as this Omicron along with Delta, sweeps through our nation causing the death and hospital rates to unrelentingly rise daily.

One of my endearing traits is that I am very passionate about the things I support, my books, my faith and what I stand for. People often tell me they will follow my lead or back my book, purely because they love that I am so passionate about them and exude a joy and excitement, which often infects those who spend time with me. I have often been told: ‘I love your passion and zeal !’ I am glad I can pass this onto our dear friends and family through our love of birding, which my wife shares with me, when she allows her little girl-like passion to likewise exude, and we both become excited on an unexpected sighting.

Many of you bloggers likewise share your excitement and passion through your posts. I love that my children appreciate the positive influence that our youthful passion along with our living faith has on their children and have thanked me for it. Our children and grandchildren need to see our love of life and God, to see that it is a genuine part of our daily lives and not useless hypocritical religious head knowledge. One of the important blessings we can pass onto our children and grandchildren is the blessing we have received. If we fail to pass on the blessing as a blessing (the love and grace of God) to the next generation it becomes a obligation (legalistic and loveless) and when they try to pass it on it becomes to the next generation a burden (unnecessary and pointless) which they will often ditch altogether, and hopefully rediscover the true blessing for themselves as they navigate life for themselves. We all need to have love, respect and acknowledgement for who we are, and not just for what we do.

“One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” – Luke 18:15-17 (NLT)

“Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.” – Colossians 3:21

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4

“Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.” – Proverbs 14:26

“The righteous person behaves with integrity;  blessed are their children after them.” – Proverbs 20:7 (NET)

Beautiful Firetail

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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.


  1. Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The bird sightings are amazing, and beautiful, but visiting with your Grandson’s and sharing your passion of birding with them is priceless!

    The Green Catbird video was delightful. I love that shade of green.
    Those lizards/monitors! Egads, they look a bit scary and so prehistoric! They’re harmless to humans?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah,
      The Catbird is beautiful if you ever get the sun on it, which seldom is the case as it lives in dense rainforest away from the light and is very recluse.
      The Monitor will usually move away from you as it has the fear of man, but will approach if it smells food, and has been known to rob picnic lunches from unattended picnic tables. It snuck up on one couple who shooed it away. The Cockies are alarming because the Monitors will attempt to steal their eggs and rob their nests.The worse thing is if is it thinks you are a tree it might run up you which would be disastrous, but this seldom occurs. The adult creatures are huge. I did show footage of one in a previous post months ago, it ran ahead of us down the track. Enjoy your week,

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Ash,
    What a wonderful visit you had from your dear grandchildren! They are obviously very intelligent and talented individuals, and spending time outdoors and connecting with Nature will surely enhance their skills and keep them healthy and fit. We are very glad to see you could all share a great birding experience – I can imagine your enthusiasm rubbing off on them 🙂

    The personal highlight for us is to see the views of the Black-winged stilts. It has been a long while since we viewed them in our country, so seeing them through your lens made my day. So thank you for that 🙂

    I was able to catch up on emails earlier this week and sent you a message (no rush of course!). May you and your wife have a blessed second half of the week, and continue to stay safe and well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Takami,
      Yes I was surprised they were so keen from the start which showed they really liked going out. I use to think they just endured it. Sadly we did not get to swim in the special water works, which we have so much fun together in, and were limited in our city trips though we did get the national museum in to see the 2022 photo comp photos which as great. We got Covid notifications after that, which has become quite the norm here, as everywhere we go we get them.
      The Stilt are my favorite reflection birds. I have many great photos of them reflecting perfectly. Sad not to see them breeding there this year.
      Keeping you both in our prayers daily, and may you also enjoy this week. My wife has only three more days left. and she told me tonight how many of her clients have been in tears at her going, and she is coming home with quite expensive gifts from them, as they all appreciate and love her so much.
      Will get back to you eventually as I catch up, as I gave the boys my full attention. It was so lovely hugging them again, and they are so much taller, almost as tall as me.:-)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is super to be out with family and have them actively participate. So hard now as lockdowns have made things so difficult to keep family connections.
    Our elder grandson is coming to visit for the weekend and we too will share some birding and birding spots with him.

    I’m not sure now who said it, but I liked the quote, “Covid and the Lockdowns has taken away the ‘Flavour for Life!’ ”

    I appreciate being able to wander the paddocks, the wind blowing strong and feel that I’m getting more than my fair share of fresh air and great ventilation 🙂

    Remain Vigilant and remain Safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David for your encouraging comment. I do hope your grandson enjoys his time with you both and birding with you, he is blessed to have one so skilled to learn from.
      Yes Covid has taken the flavour away considerably on many levels as we seek to spend our time dodging it and remembering the latest rule and to bring our mask and phone with us.
      It certainly is a glorious experience on a hot humid day to feel the nor-eater rushing through your sweat drenched linen shirt and against your face. Like the inhabitants of WA and SA we savour its arrival daily and give thanks for it’s refreshment.
      Vigilant is the key word my friend.


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