As I shared in our last week’s birding date, a few days later I took my wife on another birding date, as I experienced a similar memory, recalling the Gang Gang Cockatoo flock being found in trees about 2 hours drive south of Sydney in the beautiful area of Palmdale. It was about 3 years ago I found them in these trees to the day. We set out and after a coffee n cake at the nearby open air Palmdale Cemetery Cafe, proceeded down to the end of the road in the rainforest, much of which is now cleared to make way for large salubrious one acre home lots. The locals had planted many deciduous Northern Hemisphere trees, including Maple, which were currently changing colour as they were loosing their leaves during winter. These trees were laden with seed pods which each year attract the Cockies. We had prayed asking God to show us to the birds, and with faith believed that the Lord would provide for us, as he often does.
On arrival we were about to go to the spot where we had seen them previously, but thankfully we saw two birders with long lenses shooting up some trees nearby but in a different location. We could not see from the road what they were looking up at, but we excitedly went over, and sure enough the Gang Gangs were back, but only a small family group. We were so thankful these birders where present, as we could have easily left disappointed. We thanked God for leading us to them, as they are very difficult to see in the shaded trees, as unlike other species of Cockatoo are usually very quiet eaters. The photos of the Gangs Gangs below were taken with a 400 mm telephoto lens, so you can imagine how difficult it would be to find them.
Similar to the Yellow-tails from last weeks post, these Gong Gangs have come down from the mountains to escape the winter cold and find food, which would have normally been native Casuarina and Banksia seed cones. The males have the bright red head and the females lack the red but have horizontal belly stripes of pale orange. These birds are less seen by people than the other species as they have become endangered and threatened due to a large reduction in numbers after the devastating bushfires of the last few years. This bird is the fauna emblem for the Australian Capital Territory.
Let’s take a look at the bird and listen to its call which is often described as a squeaky gate sound. I apologize for the dark images, but movie footage was very challenging in the dark of these trees.
The female Gang Gangs were also busy eating breakfast. The name Gang Gang comes from the name given these birds by pre European NSW indigenous people.
Here are more pics of these beautiful birds, and note their hairdo blowing in the wind.
We felt very blessed and thankful to our Lord for providing these birds for us to enjoy, and share with you, as they are not seen very often by most, and now becoming threatened and endangered. After this we went to visit one of the stores that sell my books in a large shopping complex nearby, where we discussed a special signing morning on a future date. We enjoyed a lovely lunch before heading home through afternoon traffic.
Have a wonderful week, hoping you get some good birding in despite the weather be it very cold or very hot, depending on which part of the world you are in. We were so pleased to have had reprieve from the rain for 2 weeks, though some trails still have not recovered and are almost impassible. It has been a poor winter for birds, as many have not returned possibly because they were decimated by the horrific fires of the previous 2 years.
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The lesson we constantly have reaffirmed to my wife and I is God’s faithfulness and love in leading us to wonderful bird finds. Our birding dates always reveal something special. My wife always prays while we come to a new place or are walking along the trail: “Lord, what have you got for us today ?” We also often make new birder friends to encourage and share with. While there are times we find very little, in the way of many interesting birds, we often find we are directed by God to explore opportunities to enjoy different aspects of our outing, whether it be in nature or the people that we meet along the way. What ever it be, we know the joy and delight of sharing the day with our loving Father God, who enjoys that we enjoy and give thanks to him for his beautiful creation. He is a wonderful Father who loves us all and so longs for us to love him likewise.
“How amazing are the deeds [works] of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them.” – Psalm 111:2 (NLT)
“You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done [made] for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.” – Psalm 92:4
“O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts.” – Psalm 92:5