Last weekend we visited my daughter, her family and brother and his wife in the popular seaside tourist town of Forster, situated on the Mid-north Coast NSW for a catch up after years of Covid restrictions. My brother graciously took us on several beautiful walks along the coastline of Forster, which included the Littoral Rainforest Boardwalk along the coast of One Mile Beach, where he lives. He has been spotting whales passing by from his balcony, as they have a 150° view of the ocean, as well as the famous Forster sand dune. Littoral Rainforest is a dark closed canopy forest close to the ocean (< 2 km).

The forest was alive with the sounds birds and occasional wildflowers were seen blooming in the Spring sun. We encountered several birds along the walk, including the Variegated Fairy-wren male, in full Spring breeding plumage.

This is what he sounds like:

Caring for these sensitive habitats is a wonderful way for those who are retired to give back, as my brother’s mother-in-law does caring for and helping to maintain this littoral forest. As we walked through the covered canopy of branches including Banksia, Melaleuca (Paperbark Trees), Tuckeroo (Beach Tamarind)and other species of spreading coastal trees I spotted this very rapid moving tiny White-browed Scrubwren. Of all the birds, for me this is the fasted moving bird I have ever tried to photograph. You will see what I mean here:

White-browed Scrubwren

This Lewin’s Honeyeater was busy extracting nectar.

This Rainbow Lorikeet were also extracting nectar, using their tongue to flick it into its mouth from this Banksia integrifolia (Coastal Banksia) flower head. It decided to leave when it saw me photographing it.

One of the most prolific birds here is the Little Wattlebird, which is a large honeyeater feeding here. It has a classic call.

Little Wattlebird from behind

As we walked around the cliff we noticed from the viewing platform a pair of Sooty Oystercatchers on the rocks below watching the waves breaking nearby. It was unusual to see them there, though they are probably sitting out the tidal change.

Later while enjoying a coffee at a coffee shop by the water I spotted this pair of Pied Oystercatcher across the channel which seem to be in conversation standing on the sand bank on the island. A pair of Silver Gull were standing nearby.

Pied Oystercatcher pair

The next day my brother took us on a coastal walk around the town. As we left we saw this Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike.

As we passed a neighbors flowering Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea) we noticed both Scaly Lorikeet and Rainbow Lorikeet feeding from the tiny nectar laden flowers on the flower spike.

Later on as we walked past a New Zealand Christmas Bush in the town we notice several Scaly Lorikeet feeding on the nectar rich flowers.

We walked up to Second Head Lookout where Australian Magpie meet in large numbers, possibly 30 or more, hoping to get fed by visiting tourists, and this is a very uncharacteristic occurrence for this bird. Notice the brown feathers depicting various stages of maturity as they take several years to fully mature.

It was good to see several Magpie foraging for their natural food that was nutritious as they listened intently to the ground, slightly turning their heads to hear the minute sounds of insect larvae moving just beneath the soil. When they locate it they thrust their powerful beak into the soil and pull it out eating it instantly. They also eat other insects they find on their grazing stroll. They are ground feeders.

The Laughing Kookaburra could be sighted at various times along our walk, appearing to be placidly resting yet it is actually quietly looking for food opportunities with its keen eyesight. It usually dives down and grabs worms, reptiles or rodents with its large beak, returning to the tree to beat it to death against a tree branch before eating.

My brother showed us a Satin Bowerbird Bower which appeared to have been abandoned as it was in gross disrepair. Reasons may be that another bird may have destroyed it, or it had been abandoned as it was attracting too much attention from passing humans, it being so close to the track. The bower would normally become very active at this time of year as the male performs for mating opportunities with those females impressed with his performance.

Some of the other flowers we saw in bloom were the White Tea Tree Flower and red Captain Cook Bottlebrush to name a two.

As we walked by the water we saw this group of Australian Pelican waiting for fishermen to throw some heads their way, but they appeared to be waiting in vain as they were just chatting. Note how the young Pelican reacts when it appears threatened by opening its beak wide. This is how many birds respond as it makes them appear larger and acts as a form of protection further separating them from the attackers advances.

As we returned home we noticed this pair of Eastern Rosella looking stunning in the late afternoon sun. These birds like other birds of the Parrot family pair for life. This bird is extremely human shy and was photographed at some distance away.

Eastern Rosella pair

We thoroughly enjoyed our time birding at Forster, and thank my brother for showing us his beautiful home town.


Have a wonderful week and enjoy this beautiful time of the year as the seasons change and migration is at its peak whether in Spring or Fall. If this is your first time visiting my blog, please take a few minutes to leave a comment and check out my birding information pages on my website from my Home Page.

Check out my unique Beautiful Bird Books, which make great Christmas or Birthday gifts for your family and relatives. Introduce them to our amazing Aussie birds and the interesting way they do life, while at the same time teaching them valuable life lessons from our birds.

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Before travelling to Forster my wife and I travelled further up the coast to Port Macquarie to visit a school friend I have known since Kindergarten and spend a couple of days with him and his wife. While there we saw a gathering of various species of birds on a sandbank on the Hastings River. It is always a note to me when I see how well birds of different species share resting places together in harmony. Sharing our resources and tolerating difference in opinion and manner are gracious attributes in our often legalistic judgmental society. Here we see that the Bar-tailed Godwit have already returned from Alaska and rest alone together while the Great Cormorant, Pied and Sooty Oystercatcher, Australian Pelican and Eastern Curlew share the sand bank together. On seeing us the Eastern Curlew pair took flight, as per usual, being always human shy and very cautious, flying over the small Godwit flock nearby.

Similar to the Godwits we all have different levels of tolerance and trust for each different individual, which is usually determined by our previous knowledge and history with each person in our experience. Sometimes it may be based on hearsay from a friend or even unknown person who we have heard give comment from their opinion through the media. Bias exists in journalism and reporting as well as at times in the manner and way we describe others, depending on our basis for approval and acceptance of them. Most of the time, like the Curlew, it is a reaction in the subconscious in the form of fear – which is often falsely believed as an unsubstantiated threat the person is perceived to pose to them. As mentioned in previous posts Fear Freezes us, and clouds our better judgement, as stress and anxiety click in, instead of faith, goodwill and trust. Faith Forwards us to believe better in the character of people, giving them the benefit of the doubt, extending kindness and grace in an honest non judgmental, non maligning attitude which comes from a peace making character marked with humility, integrity and love.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” – Philippians 2:3,4 (NIV)

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18

“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:37

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” – Galatians 6:7

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To introduce people to our amazing Australian Birds

To learn from them better ways of living a healthy happy life

ashley@aussiebirder.com

Adv. Dip. of Counselling and Family Therapy

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

10 Comments »

  1. How nice to see and read your post, Ashley. Since I moved to Florida State I’ve been visiting several places looking for birds. It happens that just the cold weather started hitting the north and soon the migrations will begin.. Your photos are wonderful. Take care, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks HJ, I am sure you will enjoy birding in Florida being one of the birding states, with its warmer weather. Yes you will see birds moving south to the warmer states, and that will be a plus for you. I hope you enjoy your time there with your family my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello dear friends,
    We are so happy to see that your most recent trip was blessed with some stunning bird encounters. There are so many birds that we are viewing for the first time – it is impossible to pick a “favorite.” It’s remarkable that you were able to get such a clear shot of the White-browed Scrubwren – it must have been extra special. As always, the waders – especially the Godwits, Oystercatchers and Curlews have a special place in my heart, as they travel between both our countries during their trips to and from the North. As we have not been able to go on birding trips as of late, seeing these birds through your blog has lifted our spirits.

    We are delighted that you were able to spend precious time with family members and catch up after so many years of travel restrictions. It is very kind of your brother to show you some beautiful views and birding areas near his home.

    Autumn is finally on its way here and we hear the calls of our autumn/winter birds which remind us how the seasons change and how everything moves in natural time…

    Welcome back, and I hope to update in more detail via email soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Takami, it is always a delight to read your encouraging comments. We both had a most relaxing weekend with both friends and family. It was lovely to hug my grandies again and have fun with them, and boy have they grown. We were blessed with many lovely birds as these areas are bird havens. They have other special birds there from the rainforest which we did not see on our visit. Enjoy the colors of your Autumn changeover, and the birds as they return. Blessings dear friends. Looking forward to hearing good news.

      Liked by 1 person

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