Some of my followers may have wondered why my posts have been a bit scant of new material of late. Sadly, this has been to my poor health and current pneumonia infection which is taking longer than expected to leave, with other heart complications.

However, I am ever thankful to God and for my beautiful faithful loving caring wife and many caring and praying friends, that I continue in between my difficult moments to be my joyful and grateful self.

My wife and I took a health walk through our local Oatley Park and though we did not see many birds, I did manage to catch two that interested us. Firstly we did heart The Golden Whistler and though we did not see the male we did see this female who seem always to draw near for a curious look with their large eye, as they known to do. As opposites attract in making the best complementary human relationships (the Bible calls this ‘completing one another’ to make a better one person in the two), so the male Whistler is the shy introvert and the female the bold inquisitive one.

I better add a male Golden Whistler to let those of you who are new to birding to see how it got its name, as you seldom have the bird named after the females plumage, being usually dull brown to protect it and the young while nesting.

Though this is not the best time of year to hear them as they become quieter in the non breeding season, you do hear them occasionally call to one another. We are thankful the recent invasion of Sparrowhawks did not remove all of our songbirds.

Sadly though, we did not hear the numbers of Superb Fairy-wren families that recently existed closest to the Sparrowhawk nest. Several times now these areas, using moving and communicating with their lovely high pitched calls, are silent and still. What we did see sitting quietly not far from the nest was this love Collared Sparrowhawk, possibly a youngster who had remained behind to make it their territory, and continue feeding on the many of the small birds remaining.

“Necessity is the Mother of Invention” is a famous proverb that is often quoted, and is often proved true as the clever inventive mind of humans and birds alike find ways to overcome difficulties to achieve a desired result. Latest bird observation findings into the the deadly toxins excreted by its Parotid Glands on the neck of the Queensland Cane Toad, and their previous deadly affect on birds and animals which attempt to eat them is most interesting.

We have known for some time that many Kookaburras have died from their attempts while others have survived. This is because the intelligent birds are learning which part of the Toad is edible and which is not and finding inventive ways to safely achieve their goal and then pass it on to other birds of their own and other species. This will be great in the future reduction of this horrible pest.

Torresian Crows have learned to flip the toad over and eat out its fleshy belly only, while Australian White Ibis have learned to pick it up by its mouth and throw it about making it stress enough to liberate all of its toxins. It them carefully picks it up walks it to nearby water, washes it thoroughly and eats it. The Native Australian Water-rat turns it over and incises its chest and eats it out, while the Black and Whistling Kite will both eat out its tongue only. These are just some of the innovative ways the birds are making a meal of this deadly pests. There are many more clever birds and animals working out ways.

Have a wonderful week and keep fit and well. Keep walking and remember the way to stay joyful and live longer is …

<<< Back to Top of Page >>>

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


  1. Hello brother Ashley, I am so behind in my WP reading, much moreso in my WP writing! But sorry to hear about your health issues. Was just reading how “all men are like grass”, so glad you have plenty green left and a lovely caring wife. A good spouse helps prevent wilting!
    I love the audios here. But took an interest in that poisonous toad. I learned they were deliberately brought to the country for pest control, 1935. Seems like such a mistake!
    I hope your Easter holiday was lovely. Bye for now dear brother, will be praying for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lisa Beth for your kind and always encouraging comments.
      I am thankful that the Lord has me on the mend.
      We just returned from a ‘birding date’ walk around the water front of Botany Bay, where we had coffee and later lunch, and I felt the Lord move us to check out the pine forest near there and we were blessed to see the return of our Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo,as they return from the mountains each winter to feed on the coastal seed cones.
      I have not been posting much lately as my health has been up and down with heart and lungs, but the Lord has been most gracious and we just give thanks and praise for every wonderful moment we have together in His beautiful garden,
      Yes the Cane Toad was an unexpected mistake and like a=many of man’s attempt to right wrongs, it often creates a more serious wrong. Thankfully the Lord has given our very intelligent birds ways of helping rectify it, where the humans have failed.
      Lovely to hear from you again. Have been wondering how my dear sister is going. Hope you are both well and enjoying life. Enjoy your week. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah, yes the Whistlers have this unique head turning posture which is common. They are often looking upward to leaves above them as they look for a sugary food called lerps which is found under the gum leaf. That tilt of the female’s head is her classic curious look, wondering about us. Sometimes they will come very close to do this and just sit and look at you. Thanks for your kind well wishes I think I am slowly improving. Enjoy your weekend my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear of your bout of illness. We no longer do the long travels of the past as health issues limit.
    We’ve learned to be thankful for each day, and to enjoy the time as if it was the only one day we had.
    Gets us by.
    It must be the time of year, as many of our small birds have ‘gone to ground’ as well.
    As just one example, a few weeks back we had dozens of young Willie Wagtails and now we stuggle to find even one adult.

    It is hard to know the significance of the Goshawk/Sparrowhawk presence. Watching a pair from before their nesting and through the hatching period, into fledging I would guess that 700 or more birds were taken in the two month period. (For three young).
    I wish they would be a bit more specific and pick on feral doves and mynahs. 🙂

    Hope each day brings you a little improvement and also some good weather would be more than a bonus, it would indeed gratefully accepted.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much David for your kind words, they are greatly appreciated. It has been a challenge for you both over the last few years we know, and we are starting to realize how much our exercise program for seniors is helping us, but when your heart and lungs are not well, it is more challenging, being on more meds and the rest of it.
      It amazing how many birds the raptors need to feed their babies not to mention the other baby bird and egg-eaters Currawong, Kookaburra, Kingfisher, Butcherbird etc. Yet in an amazing way the Lord grants them large sometimes frequent clutches in a season. I continue to marvel how our earth provides enough oxygen for all the living things when it is being used in billions of tons per day by millions of aircraft and cars as well as us.

      Most of my birding has been reading of late and just being amazed at what is being reported about birds. As Gisela Kaplan is realizing and sharing her disgust of those so called scientists that are deliberately not reporting the intelligent behaviour of birds to not over shadow their wrong assumptions, as she says, the birds have been doing all these intelligent things but nobody was interested enough to study them, thinking they were all random acts.
      Praying you both remain well and are able to enjoy your time, and keep warm as winter ensures. My auntie lived at Nunawading some years ago and my brother and I moved her just up the coast from here because her arthritis could not tolerate another winter there.
      As you can see from my volnumerous reply it is good to do something more constructive than laying around, especially when you can’t yet visit anyone.
      And yes the thankful for each new day is the best way forward, and make the most of the day as if were your last. If we had all done that from the beginning of our lives the world might have been a different place. Enjoy your Easter holiday my friend 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s