Another glorious Autumn day and an opportunity to seize the day and get in another birding date and a long healthy walk among tall trees. We packed our turkey and cranny rolls, filled our Thermoses and set out to our local Royal National Park. This is Australia’s first national park, and the world’s second, originally known as The National Park before the queen visited. Before commencing the walk we both enjoyed one of the amazing breakfasts at the Audley Cafe at the park situated next to the National Parks Visitor Centre, where my books are sold. It was sad to hear on my visit that the Visitor Centre and Cafe were both flooded at great loss to books, fridges and furniture, and several of my books were destroyed, but not all. Here is a view from our outside dining vista. As you can see these deciduous northern hemisphere trees depict well the season, along the river’s edge.

As we sat waiting for our meals we heard the loud raucous calls of the Noisy Friarbird flock as they fed from these trees and aggressively chased and taunted each other, as they are known to do. These honeyeater are found in eastern Australia and New Guinea.

So I made my way with camera to attempt to take photos of these constantly moving birds as they challenge each other in the tree tops.

IWhile by the river I saw this beautiful Australasian Swamphen strut by.

This Australasian Grebe was fishing with its mate, whom took a dive on seeing me.

After breakie we commenced our walk, and made our way along the main track, and watched this pair of Eastern Crimson Rosella resting high in a eucalypt tree.

Approaching winter their is an absence of wild flowers offering nectar to our many honeyeater species. The most present nectar producer is the Banksia ericifolia flower, and is relative species. Note how varied these flower heads are. They fill with nectar as do the Native Fuchsia also flowering.

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is found in large numbers here during the winter months and can be heard calling constantly, along with the occasional call of the Lewins Honeyeater a resident rainforest honeyeater. I managed to get some shots of the Yellow-faced though the Lewins proved elusive as usual. When you hear the Yellow-faced calls chicka-chicka- you may hear the Lewin’s staccato warning call in the background.

We were constantly tracing flocks of very tiny birds Mixed Feeding Flocks (MFFs), where many species of Australian birds fly and feed together in the same geographical habitat. The tiny insectivorous Silvereye is one such bird, often difficult to capture due to is fast movements and tiny size. It is my feature photo.

It was lovely to see the budding Gymea Lily about to bloom, which will add a host of smaller nectar filled flowers when it fully opens in a few weeks. I also loved seeing these mushrooms, I loved the lighting captured.

The New Holland Honeyeater had returned to the track, after spending the summer on the sandstone coastal heath nearby. It will also be in search of nectar here.

We finally, after having many conversations with birders and couples along the track, reached our lunch spot, a clearing with a picnic table. While there this resident Eastern Yellow Robin watched us. I had seen this same bird in this same place previously. This rainforest Robin is an all year territorial resident, where some other species will migrate from the south during the colder months. This Robin feeds from the ground, diving down to pluck up insects from the track. It will often follow you and watch for insects that are disturbed by your feet, fly down and back to the same branch in an instant. It is one of the fasted flying birds which so far I have not seen a successful photo which has ever been able to capture it in flight. This bird is featured at its various life stages on the cover of my second book Flight of a Fledgling.

As we walked we heard the call of the White-throated Treecreeper as it crept up a tree trunk looking for insects. These birds appear more active during this time also. They make their way to the top of a tree and fly to the base of the next, making their call as they go. This was a female depicted by the orange dot on the side of its face. They use their beaks to remove bark and poke into holes to pry out insects and grubs.

Listen and hear the Treecreeper’s call:

Again we came across the Brown Gerygone, which are in large numbers here at present, as I featured last week. I love trying to catch it doing its areal insect catching, where unlike Swallows and Fantails, this bird hovers in the air.

We could constantly hear the very high pitched calls of the tiny Scarlet Honeyeater (also known as Scarlet Myzomela) is Australia’s smallest honeyeater. Sadly, on this occasion we did not get any glimpses of it.

Before we made our way homeward, we enjoyed an icecream by the river and this Sulphur-crested Cockatoo sat next to me checking us out, with its curious head turns. The perfect conclusion another Autumn birding date on another perfect birding day.

Have a most enjoyable week and get in some birding as the changing seasons give some of their best days.

Meanwhile back in our backyard courtyard we noticed the latest juvenile Grey Butcherbird, brought in by its father to train it to wash at our birdbaths. Each year the youngsters are brought in for hands on training in the cleaning protocols of birds. Birds are very clean kept creatures and washing often proceeds preening, with the removal of parasites and old feathers.

Compare it to the adult father.

How important it is for us adults to encourage, to speak and pray into the lives of our children with love and positive reinforcement so they grow up with a healthy attitude about who they are and their ability to achieve and do well in life. This involves thoughtful observation and a kind heart to draw out and identify the good and developing aspects in the child or young adult that we can observe, which may be potential for greater things. I make it my habit to not only do this with my own children and grandchildren but also with those of my friends and random people that I meet in my day to day life. For example: the checkout person , the teens playing ball in the park, boy, the school kid, the child I can hear practicing their instrument in a neighboring house. One thoughtful,positive, well chosen word of encouragement can change the course of one’s life. It may be just a word of appreciation with how well they served, how you appreciated their car, their smile, their patience, whatever they are doing. Whatever it be, I can testify to the positive and long lasting affects when it is done in the right moment. I have lost count of how many times people have called to me as I left them saying: ‘You have made my day !’ The last time I remember hearing this was after a lady made a very lovely coffee. She was being flustered by a heavy influx of customers, and she was stepping up as a replacement in an unfamiliar role, as the usual operator was off with Covid. She lit up like a Christmas tree when she heard my words of appreciation in the face of the other complaining, inpatient customers.

I have found that many people I meet along the way, always remember me, and often replay kindness with little extras to whatever I purchase, not because of me, but because people appreciate being appreciated. When we acknowledge a person’s achievements we reinforce their identity, acceptance and significance, which builds on their personal security and their personal sense of worth and value.

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” – Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up …” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“For my words are wise, and my thoughts are filled with insight.” – Psalm 49:3 (NLT)

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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, I am delighted you enjoyed our birds, we always enjoy sharing them, as you do yours. Sharing sound and movement of the birds gives are more three dimensional concept of the bird. Listening and learning their various calls is something my wife and I enjoy doing. Interpreting the kind of call a particular bird is making (contact, alarm, territorial etc), as many of our birds are multi lingual and mimics. Some birds have such high pitched calls that our older human ears have to give quiet full attention to tune in to identify.
      Some birds can be identified by hearing them feed and forage making them easy to locate: scratching leaves, dropping seed cones, fruit or removing tree bark. The iphone is great for recording the calls.
      Enjoy your week also my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a lovely day with beautiful birds! And I especially liked your comments at the end about encouraging one another. I think the habit of positively acknowledging and encouraging others is how we should be, and how I try to be. Thank you for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

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