Finally, through the difficulties of airlines in chaos and widespread Covid in its now various strains, my wife and I returned safely home after our epic 3 week adventure to the Kimberley region in far north west Western Australia, where days of around 32-35 °C most days, without a cloud in the sky, in the middle of Winter. While down south from whence we came was the cold wet conditions classic to our Winter. I have over 80 gig of material to wade through and process, so it will take time to share our highlights and many lifers from this region, which hosts more than one third of all Australia’s bird species. I will also share our wonderful few days at the Broome Bird Observatory, which has been and is advertised in my side bar widgets as a great place to visit, and is also a good seller of my first book “What Birds Teach Us” . It is the farthermost northern seller of my book. I will share more about this Shorebird Capital of Australia in weeks to come. We did a round trip from Broome to Broome of around 5,000 km. Click on photos to enlarge them.

As a starter, while I am still getting myself back into normal life again, I will share a special moment I captured one morning at the Mornington Wildlife Conservancy with a friend on our tour called Elaine. The Finches are one of the bird families prevalent in the arid desert regions, as they gain most of their moisture needs for their tiny bodies from their seed foods. However they do require a very small amount of water to survive. One of the features of touring these hot arid regions is that wherever there is water, there are birds. If you wait near a birdbath or even a leaking tank, hose or tap, birds will come and cautiously have quick sips, as you will see here.

Crimson Finch on tap

The whole Finch family turn up to a tap connection which they discovered has a minor leak. The bright crimson male, the lesser crimson female and the more mottled brownish juvenile (youngsters) all have a go of sitting on the tap. The Crimson Finch is found only in the Far North of Australia, having two main races both race phaeton in NW (shown here in WA) having the black belly and NE (shown in past posts in Far North Queensland). The smaller race evangelinae having a white belly is found in a very small region of Cape York.

Here are some more of the Crimson Finch in their habitat.

Wherever we went as we explored the Kimberley region in the heat of the Winter sun, and wherever there was water including birdbaths, birds were coming non stop throughout the day. I will show more of this in later posts.

Another Finch species we saw frequently, which is only found in Far Northern Australia is the Long-tailed Finch. We watched as they were coming and going at the old Argyle Durack homestead birdbaths as they bathed and drank. Notice how they stand in the water to cool off, as their feet are the only exposed skin areas of their bodies.

Sorry for this brief post, but I have much catching up to do. I apologize if I have not replied to the posts I follow during my time away as, for most of the time we were out of phone and internet range.

Have a wonderful week, and enjoy birding. If this is your first visit to my website take a few minutes to check out my pages on tips on birding and its health benefits. Also check out my unique books, which can be purchased securely here online. They make great gifts for all ages and in introduce your reader to our beautiful Australian birds and the interesting ways they do life.


All living things need water to survive, and more so in the hot arid regions of the world, such as The Kimberley and the nearby deserts. Our bodies are made up of over 60% water. Even though the tiny finches do not drink much water, only about 0.5 fl oz (15 mL) per day, they need more when it is very dry and hot. We all need refreshing from both drinking and bathing, but it is never so appreciated when we are without it and in dire need of it. Otherwise we take it for granted in long showers and flushing large volumes daily down the toilet without a thought for the many millions of people in the world who do not have clean water to drink or wash in. The single factor that separates the 1st world countries, is access to unlimited clean, uncontaminated hot and cold running water. We all who are blessed with this provision, need to be grateful and thankful as we enjoy it. Jesus spoke of a special kind of water (in the spiritual sense) when he spoke with a woman he met by a well on a hot day in Samaria, asking her for a drink. She questioned him asking her as this was out of custom for a Jewish man to do. This is how the conversation went:

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”  “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:10-14 (NIV)


‘To introduce people to our unique Australian birds,

To learn from them how to live a healthy and happy life.’

© W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022.

10 Comments »

  1. Hello Ash,
    A belated “welcome back” from me too. I am starting to catch up on my emails, and am delighted to see that your birding adventure was full of wonderful sightings and blessings. As always, we are amazed by the variety of birds in your beautiful country. The finch shots are stunning, and it’s great to hear you were able to spend a few days at Broome Bird Observatory.
    Keeping you and your wife in our thoughts as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Takami, it is always a delight to hear from you, you are both dear to our hearts. The finch moment was very special, and our time at the observatory was a wonderful finish to our holiday as we connected afresh with them and had an amazing day trip with them to see some of their rare birds.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Donna, we had such a wonderful time and discovered quite a few more lifers in a part of our country where it is hot and dry, yet has more birds and flowering plants than most other places. It will take some weeks to share it all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How exciting this trip must have been, I look forward to seeing all the photos. Yes water sources are the best places to just sit down and watch the birds come and go. That red finch is just gorgeous. And the map of your journey shows quite the adventure. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sandra, it was an amazing adventure seeing and hearing the sounds of birds we had never heard before, and to see so many of them in such dry places. There is just so much material to wade through and document, I hope I can showcase some of it in the coming weeks.

      Like

  3. WE are having a hot summer in Georgia, I make sure that my birds can reach water to drink and bathe. How nice you’ve captured these birds seeking for water. Thank you,Ashley. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks HJ, water is so vital in these arid regions, and it certainly draws the birds. Hope it starts cooling off for you all soon, we have heard of your heat waves up north. It is like the terrible weather we had 2 years ago when we had the horrific fires that destroyed so much of our forest, birds and animals.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David, wading through this material is a mammoth task, and as usual their are many deletions due to many of these birds being extremely active and a challenge to capture. Watching all the birds draw to water was a feature of our journey, and as the water recedes, the more birds gather.

      Like

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