The weather has not been all that kind for birds here this Spring and many species we have previously seen in Spring have not returned, as I shared last week. So as I took a mindful walk through my local Oatley Park last week, I focused in on some the beautiful common sights and simply appreciated them. As I commenced my walk I started seeing several beautiful stems of the tiny Hyacinth Orchid flowers beside the track. As you can see when the flowers are closely examined they are so intricately and beautifully painted by the Most Amazing Artist. I just delighted in their single leafless stem structure, that rose up our of the rocky ground. Here was color and pattern at their best.

Dipodium veriegatum

The forest was quiet but for the joyful calls of the Rainbow Lorikeet feeding high on the eucalypt blossom, however I could not see them. But I did see and here this lone Australian Magpie as it warbled continuously, as they do, resting in the shade

. These birds are often seen talking to another Magpie nearby, often barely within earshot. Because these birds have more acute hearing than humans, you often can not detect the sound of the other bird it is communicating to. Magpie language is one of the most complex of all birds, and since Magpies are one of the most intelligent birds, they live lives not dissimilar to our own. I sighted this Magpie father disciplining his juvenile for continuously begging when he was trying to get it to fend for itself, while the mother looked on. This occurred near our home earlier in the day.

As I walked around the ponds I noticed a very quiet pair of juvenile Chestnut Teal swimming together, possibly from this years clutch earlier. They could easily be missed by a not so discerning eye.

As I walked around the ponds there were very few birds, which is unusual for this time of year. There would normally be several families of waterbirds and their chicks, but I did detect this Dusky Moorehen feeding her two remaining chicks water weed. These waterbirds usually have large clutches which become very vulnerable out on the water to predation. Hence the meaning of the saying ‘like a sitting duck‘ which is why they need to keep on the move and stay covered under hanging bushes as much as possible while very young. While I could hear the Rainbow Lorikeet noisily feeding at the tops of the tall eucalypt trees I could not see them. However, at home in our courtyard in the last couple of weeks there has been a noisy host of Rainbows busily feeding on our native Endeavour Bottlebrush flowers, one of their favorite nectar flowers. Unlike our Honeyeaters, these birds extract nectar by flicking it into their mouths with their tongue, rather then sucking it up through the retractable straw-like tongue if the Honeyeater.

That is all for today, as bird numbers and varieties have been disappointing this Spring. Have a wonderful week and enjoy your birds and the beautiful places they live. Don’t forget this Christmas to purchase gifts that will develop and grow your loved ones into their future. My books are designed to do just that, and at the same time teach interesting facts about our amazing Aussie birds. Click here to find out more.

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© W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023


  1. Hello dear friend,
    What an important reminder to be aware of what is around us, and to be awed by the beauty that’s often right before our eyes. The details of Hyacinth Orchid are stunning view of your “common” birds are always a welcome treat for bird lovers here in Japan.

    Likewise, we have had a dismal birding season this year. Winter migratory birds that should have made their way here have yet to arrive, and even the numbers of our “local” birds are sparse compared to previous years. Admittedly, it is very concerning.

    I just sent a reply (apologies for the delay) but wanted to let you know how much we enjoy your birding articles. Thank you again, for sharing so generously. We hope you and your wife have a blessed remainder of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Takami, it is amazing how many birders have told me that this is a poor year so far for birding. This however was not the case up in the far north of Australia when we visited there in July. These are uncertain times even for the birds, as they too deal with unusual weather and climate patterns. Thanks again for your prayerful support, we look forward to reading your letter. Enjoy your week my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ashley,
    Yes, to Forest Walking. There is a great deal of evidence from the Japanse, “Forest Bathing”, which has always impressed me as a fine way for a society to relax. (More’s the pity that so many these days think that venting on some social media platform is doing them good.)

    Due to the rains and the flood on the local river, two of our favoured photography locations are now closed and out of bounds for the more than foreseable future. One of the paths along the river has had a bridge pylon washed out and the bridge will need complete replacement (and not in the budget so I’m told)
    The second area, is closed while a new drainage pipeline is put in place and may be quite a few months before the project is complete.

    So, like you, we have had to find a new spot of two to walk. Luckily, and we did our first loop this morning, its local and accessible. But, so close to housing that there is never going to be a wide range of birds, other than the usuals, who can tolerate the human condition.
    I will blog about the walk in the next day or so.
    Felt it was impressive that you had just completed a similar day and seen, well, just about the same inhabitants we had.

    Glad you enjoyed the day, and the Maggies really are at their performing best here at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David, yes it is sad that so many of the younger generation have chosen to be governed by their sedentary technology devices. I have a grandson who spends most of his life in his room. As brilliant as he is, he misses out on the soothing forest, which he really loves when he visits us, which he will be doing in a couple of weeks. It has been taxing on you both also as it has for us with this unusual weather pattern for Spring. We have been warned already of a cooler wetter windy Summer, and so far they have not been wrong. It is good that you are ale to get out and about, even though the local birds are not impressive. Yes the Maggies are all quite busy. I love that the families in our local reserve know me and allow me to almost touch them without any fear or moving away. Our local pair here at home still fear us a little watching them bathe, maybe they feel more vulnerable when washing. I hope the weather improves and you get more of those wonderful moments with your raptors.


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