As most of you know my wife and I take a 5 hour journey to the inland country city of Wagga Wagga several times a year to visit her family. While there we always do an early bird walk around the lake, which many locals either run, walk or ride around for exercise. It is a lovely walk which is paved all the way round, with occasional seats placed along the way and shady trees. While the lake is very full due to recent heavy rains, many of the waterbirds that feed on water weed are not present, as it becomes too difficult to feed their young, but despite this there are some that have stayed to breed in most of the species. The first bird we always check out in the same group of trees is the resident Dusky Woodswallow community. However, I was only able to get one difficult photo of a parent nesting in this well camouflaged nest, as its partner came back and forth trying to lead us away. The adults are actively gliding and feeding on the fly as Woodswallows are known for. I love watching their gliding flight.

Walking toward the reeds of the wetlands section I could hear the loud continuous calls of several Australian Reed-warblers. I was only able to capture one bird but their sound was loud and clamorous.

The Dusky Moorehen had babies as did the Australasian Swamphen and Grey Teal.

It was sad to compare these two sets of Australian Wood Duck parents. One pair had several young, which is normal and the other had only one left. These waterbirds have large clutches for survival of their species, as these birds provide food for many of the bird eating birds and animals, hence the term when one is exposed on an open pond to danger ‘like a sitting duck’.

On a small bush hanging over the lake’s edge a family clan of Welcome Swallow were resting, along with a small clutch of juveniles waiting for a parent to return for food. The bush swayed in the water as power boats passed.

The trees and grass were graced at times by the beautiful array of species from Australia’s large colorful Parrot family. Here are some of the ones we saw:

Here is a male Australian King Parrot calling.

As you know Parrots are essentially seed eaters, being able to break open very hard seed pods and cones with their powerful beaks and hold the cone in their claw to their mouth to feed. Though they do eat fruit and can devastate a fruit tree of ripe fruit in minutes. The Satin Bowerbird however is essentially a native fruit eater, and this male stands beside a dilapidated bower, possibly it was a practice model by this immature male. They take 4 to 6 years to fully mature to breeding age and gain their full satin coloring, and during this this they are constantly learning to make and perfect their bower construction technique. If they fail to make an impressive bower, learn an impressive repertoire of mimic sounds and master a seductive dance, they may not get the privilege to mate with any or many females who visit his bower. Males spend their lifetime at the bower while the female nests and raises the young alone, This bird’s story is told in both my books which are available here online.

As we walked past a shaded section of the lake we watched this Red Wattlebird using its classic speedy diving technique, which many birds use to wash and remove parasitic lice. I tried to get movie but it was just too fast for me. Click on photos to enlarge.

This Zebra Finch had its juvenile standing beside it. Notice it lacks facial and tail stripe markings. This bird is the most studied bird and the easiest to raise. It lives and thrives in large flocks in the inland and desert regions of Australia and requires very little water to survive. It is essentially a grass seed and insect eater.

The Double-barred Finch, is another inland finch, often found alongside the Zebra was present bathing in a puddle. We also saw them in a tree.

Another inland bird youngster was this juvenile Little Friarbird which was a lovely find.

While visiting my wife’s brothers farm he mentioned that he was being attacked by Willy Wagtails when he entered his large car garage, and wondered at the significance. It did not take long for us to delight him with the fact that he had a clutch of Wagtails born in his garage and just about fledged. The parents and other relative Wagtails were also getting involved in the mobbing attacks to ward us off.

This Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike was hiding its youngster deep in the tree and trying to get us to leave our resting seat on our walk around the lake, I was unable to get an image of the youngster.

The conclusion of our stay was that many young birds had been produced from the recent Spring breedings.

Have a wonderful week as you prepare for the Christmas holiday celebrations. At this time we give thanks as we celebrate and remember the wonderful gift of God to us undeserving humans in the form of a human who was sinless and selfless who would be called Jesus (Yeshua meaning Salvation or Savior) because ‘he will save his people from their sins.‘ (Matthew 1:21)

A serious and thoughtful contemplation this Christmas is how we are now in the Post Christian age of man where Christianity and the worship of the One Almighty God and his son Jesus Christ is not considered the major world belief system. While we now live in a world holding the philosophy ‘that everything is relative and nothing is absolute’ we globally face a very confronting future. Considering how important it is for instruction, correction, education, love and discipline go hand in hand for a healthy meaningful life. Funny enough the laws that govern our universe are absolute, such as gravity. Jesus has been removed as the marker for history, and he has also been removed from Christmas itself, which is all about him. Many are removing prayer and Bible teaching from schools. Interesting enough, in this great movement to through off the shackles of faith, the deep heart problems of humankind do not go away, and the massive increase in crime, scams, mistrust, violent murders, lack of respect, blatant lying, suicides, counselling and drug taking to name a few, are increasing daily around us. Though this may not be such a bad thing. It gives us a chance to shine for Jesus and help those struggling in their unbelief and ignorance.

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.  Do everything without grumbling or arguing,  so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky  as you hold firmly to the word of life. “ – Philippians 2:13-16 (NIV)

Below is a song I wrote for Christmas 2000 recorded with the band The Encouragers many years ago: Behold Your King Is Come.

Jesus himself prophesied these last days before his return to establish his everlasting Kingdom, and if his prophesy is anything like all the over 2000 in the Bible already fulfilled and many more that have already come true, I think it is worth a look and serious consideration.

 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:3-14 (NIV)

Paul the Apostle also likewise prophesied in a similar vain:

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” – 2 Timothy 3:3-5

Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and only through Him will we know true inner and outer peace. For our outer conflict and restlessness is but a sign of the much greater inner conflict caused by our sinful state being misaligned with God’s perfect will for each of us.

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To introduce people to our amazing Australian Birds

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

Adv. Dip. of Counselling and Family Therapy

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


    • Thanks Lisa, we are always blessed when we walk around this lake, the body of fresh water is a haven for both water and tree birds, which nest by the banks in the river gums. The lighting was not its best on the days, but we are very thankful for what we saw, despite lower than normal numbers. Enjoy your week my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Donna, the Zebra Finch are a beautiful little package of a bird with amazing survival properties. Their tail gives their name, They exist normally, when not breeding in very large flocks in the dry desert areas.
      Enjoy your Christmas my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cindy, yes they are beautiful the yellow and blue, especially when in flight in bright sunshine. They are all classified strangely now under the Crimson Rosella, which most of us Aussie birders think somewhat crazy, we think it better left as it was. These, like most of our Parrot species are found in the drier inland central and western regions of our states.


  1. Hello Ashley, certainly you enjoyed a most significant day around the lake.
    So much activity and so many species to photograph.
    Great work on the Red Wattlebird’s splash and dash. Always hard to predict where they are going to hit the water.

    Looks like a fine set of parrots in the area. We’ve been anticipating some arrivals as many of the gums have decided to flower after the storms. So far we’ve not has too much success.

    Aren’t little Willies the best. They have alal the attitude, but haven’t worked out how to use it yet.

    They would have been most comfortable under the shed.

    It is sad to see all the effort that the ducks put in, and then daily watch the numbers reduce. However we don’t seem short of ducks, so its probably just as well, else we’d have ponds packed with ducks.

    Hope the festive season and the new year bring you both all the pleasure and enjoyment you deserve

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David for your warm wishes and encouraging comments. My wife and I wish you and yours a very enjoyable Christmas and a healthy and wonderful new year also. We were so pleased we did the lake lap and saw as many birds as we did, since we usually only do a small section near the wetlands area. The temperature kept changing and finally ended in a storm after we had returned. Yes we loved the activity and protection the Willies displayed over their little ones. The babies themselves were already displaying their energetic prowess at times. We have had a return to Winter weather here at home for the last few weeks, which did mar our birding activity with my grandsons who came to stay for a few days. However, they were great spotters, with much better eyes than ours and found some great birds, including a Green Catbird which we could not see. We also spotted a Powerful Owl in the Botanic Gardens, which we had sought but failed to see on previous occasions.

      Liked by 1 person

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