The recent torrential rain event devastated the tracks and river banks of our local National Park, as it did other parks and reserves in the area. Deep gouging, flooding and depositing of river sand and forest debris resulted in expensive ruination of these public facilities. The National Parks Visitor Centre where my books are sold was flooded and closed when we arrived there for breakfast at the Cafe, which thankfully was open and unaffected, and in which we enjoyed immensely.

As we navigated our way over the exposed bedrock and eroded road base, my wife and I noticed the absence of the many bird calls we usually hear at this time of year. We imagine that many birds may have had their nests decimated and others possibly fled the area, so it was interesting to discover who was left, and who are the resilient ones. The first bird we heard was the Brown Thornbill, which I have posted on previous occasions as being one of the most resilient birds I have observed. A small insectivorous bird, with a classic musical purring sound merrily and rapidly moves about and throughout a tree. It is an all weather bird.

One of the features of this track is the sighting of various families of Fairy-wrens both Superb and Variegated species. My wife always gets excited when she sees the beautiful, much brighter blue, orange and black Variegated Fairy-wren male in its full breeding plumage, moving around with its female, which looks quite plain brown and white. I am always fascinated by the extent the birds can spring (leap) from a branch before opening their wings. Small passerines tend to spring into the air before opening their wings.

The recent rain had left some puddles on the track, and this Eastern Yellow Robin, which appeared to be a young or immature one was drinking from the puddle as he fed on the track. These insectivorous birds mostly feed from the ground.

We did not hear or see any Lyrebirds along the track, which is unusual though we did hear and see the Satin Bowerbird male and female, though I only managed to capture the female as the elusive male was in the sun. These birds make a very classic growling like sound. They are also amazing mimics like the Lyrebird. They enjoy all the fig varieties this rainforest offers. The male is dark blue/black colored with white beak and both sexes have a beautiful blue eye. Similar to the Lyrebird, once mating takes place the female builds nest and raises the young with no input from the males, which just care for their bower and impressing as many females as possible, with their courting song and dance routines to attract willing mates. The competition is high and the female will only choose to mate with the best presentation of bower and performance.

The Satin Bowerbird and the Superb Lyrebird, both rainforest birds of the east coast, are featured in my books, with some rare photos of the male performing before the bower with female standing in the bower. These birds display unique creative and highly intelligent behaviours, being studied in detail in recent years. From a young age it learns to build a bower, often by trial and error, create a dance routine and song list. Click on photo of page below to find out more about this book.

We were treated to an unexpected find of a not often seen rainforest bird on this track. I have seen these birds in the thick of the forest, but here on the track it was running in and out of the bush after insects. The Yellow-throated Scrubwren, cousin to the more numerous and often seen and heard White-browed Scrubwren. This bird is often described as having a Zorro mask, with a lightly tinted yellow throat. Click on photo to enlarge.

We just had a brief glimpse of this Wonga Pigeon, another rainforest bird we seldom see in the open, as it ran off into the brush. This beautiful bird with is another ground feeder.

The call of the Lewins Honeyeater followed us down the trail, repeatedly giving its warning call when it sighted us, though we seldom saw it. This is our rainforest honeyeater, and a territorial non migratory one at that, which is uncommon among most honeyeaters. Here is a pic from a previous post.

Lewins Honeyeater

Of course one bird that you never fail to hear or see is the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, which own this park, as they make their raucous calls protecting their nests. They fared better as their nests are in tree hollows. Most have already fledged but some are still nesting. Again the beautiful Angophora costata tree (Sydney Redgum) is their favorite nesting hole producer.

As we quietly rested and took water in a clearing at a picnic table, before heading back, I noticed behind me a bird quietly standing on a branch, with its back to me. It was in the shade in the thick of the tree. I immediately noticed its shape and manner and declared quietly to my wife, who confirmed it, that we were very near the elusive Green Catbird, a bird we always get excited seeing and hearing. It had an insect in its mouth and was wondering what to do, so it appeared. The Catbird is another type of bowerbird, but with a very different approach to the bower construction. This bird often sits nearby looking at you, without you being aware at all, and can be easily missed as you can see by its coloring.

Lastly, the one bird that is always heard in Spring and Summer months here, and adds appreciation to the park is the Golden Whistler, but we failed to see or hear it on this occasion. We saw very few wildflowers, but this yellow one featured. After this we navigated ourselves back over the rough and guttered track to our car.

Resilience is said to be he capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties and so spring back or return to normal quickly after a stressful, challenging or difficult set of circumstances. This endearing quality of character usually is itself begins developing in one’s character through hardship and tough circumstances, from very early in the life journey, often repeated over time. Some are more resilient than others. The birds are great adapters to change, which is why they survive and breed so well. Recent research is showing that bird intelligence is extremely advanced, being able to solve problems and work out alternate solutions rapidly. Their brains think faster and are able to simultaneously process spacial data, far more efficiently than us. Resilient people have an active awareness of their spacial surrounding and their current situation. They are aware of those around them, and are problem solvers helping to go forward. The glass half full and not half empty. The can do people. Many bird’s, when their nest blown apart in a storm, will, immediately build a better one in a more secure place and continue breeding. Though some birds may give up till the next season. They are a lot like us. Our faith makes us resilient, because we know we are not doing life alone, we have a God who loves us and cares about us both in us and alongside us to help. This loving partnership enables us to endure difficult situations, and better still, God has a way of even making our bad situations ultimately work together for our good, and for our growth. How good is that ! This gives us peace and great emotional resilience also.

“And we know that in all things [all situations and circumstances] God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (NIV)

“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7

Endure hardship as discipline [character building]; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” – Hebrews 12:7

“because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” – James1:3

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

Have a wonderful week and enjoy the birds that bless your area.

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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 Deborah, there is so much damage to the tracks it will cost them a lot to repair. But thankfully it does not stop intrepid birders from negotiating the course, and limits some walkers and bike riders. 2 cars got swept into the river during the storm and had to be craned out. It was good to have a day we could walk again.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hard to comprehend the utter devastatino of the floods in so many areas.
    One part of a park we regularly work in, (We used to call it The Office, as in ‘another day at..”) had about 4-5 metres of bank side washed away exposing the pylons and support of a footbridge over the river. Now permanently closed and no current plans or funds to open up again.

    Good to see the resiliance of the little birds. Often think of them as being very vulnerable, but they seem to have an eduring capacity.

    hope things clear up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David. It is sad you have been hit with local damage, especially in the region of your legendary ‘office’. The problem is the same here, the Park’s budget may not be able to keep up with the losses incurred in so many of our national Parks. It is sad because they are saying we just starting to get a good flow of international tourists again.
      We marvel at these little birds and their ability to face all weather quite cheerfully, singing sometimes even in the strongest winds.


    • Thanks Lisa, I am so glad you enjoy the audio of the bird calls, I think that just adds that edge to sharing our birds, as does the movie clips. We love the many and varied calls of our very vocal birds, especially since many of them can mimic and have a multiplicity of calls for all occasions. I am enjoying studying how birds of different species communicate with each other and with other resident species for the common good.
      Yes they are all great encouraging verses, and I constantly employ Philippians 4. Enjoy your week my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry that the National Parks Visitor Center was destroyed by flooding and all kinds of natural events, happening in that area. I hope that it will rebuild soon. Take care, my f friend…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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