Last week the Spring rains arrived bringing some reprieve to the long drought for coastal inhabitants. My wife and I decided to have a date and visit Bushell’s Lagoon and afterwards have fishnchips at Windsor. On arrival there were already several keen birders present looking for recent sightings of Latham’s Snipe and Baillon’s Crake. While the Snipe was not seen anywhere, the Crake was briefly, but eluded my camera, due to its very shy nature. Being Spring, the Australian Reed-Warbler’s were once again calling in the reeds which during the Winter months lay silent. They were all busily darting about, hunting for nesting material or food.
When the nest is established the Reed-Warbler become more invisible as they call from deep down among the new reed growth and only occasionally dart back and forth to nearby trees to procure food for the nest. The bird photographer waits patiently near the sound of their call for that special moment when they rise and clinging to a reed call to nearby Warblers.
The reason we hear them in Spring is similar to many other birds such as the Golden Whistler. When they find a mate and are nest building and raising a new clutch together, they become continuously very loud and vocal, calling to warn other Reed-Warblers that this is their territory and to stay clear of their nest. Another sign of Spring was this pair of Cattle Egret starting to gain its orange breeding plumage (rear bird).
This is their young 1st year Cattle Egret from the previous breeding season, note dark remaining markings on beak and neck.
The highlight of our visit was also to see the small flock of the very shy Yellow-billed Spoonbill of which we saw two grazing with a couple of Royal Spoonbill some distance across the lake.
There was some commotion in a nearby eucalypt tree when this tiny White-plumed Honeyeater was attacking a lone much larger Noisy Friarbird. Honeyeaters can be aggressive when competing for nectar, but in this case it may be that their is a nest nearby to protect.
We later got much better shots of the Noisy Friarbird feeding on eucalypt blossom.
We did not see many Egrets there this visit as we usually see many, they and many other birds flew off when they sighted the Black-shouldered Kite hovering overhead. It was a treat watching it hover over its prey and slowly drop down to lower levels of hover.
Sadly my video was too jerky for viewing, so I have added a previous clip.
We of course saw the usual White-faced Heron, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-necked Heron and Laughing Kookaburra, all one their own.
There were sleeping Australian Pelican and Grey Teal in their flock groups, with sleeping Roayal Spoonbill among them.
We were delighted to find three Black-fronted Dotterel wandering about near the market garden. Our findings were a little disappointing, but it was good for us to get out and about together after a rainy week and have time out. Birding is good for getting you outside to catch a breath of fresh air and a bit of a walk, and for this we were thankful. My wife was also thankful for fishnchips and a walk through Windsor’s plaza area at all the unusual tourist shops, where she replenished our scented candles.
While I am still unemployed, and continue to get treatment for my heart condition, it has been a challenge for both my wife and I. However, God in his goodness and kindness has inspired me to use this time at home to not only be a house husband and take the load off my busy working wife, but to also write books. As many of you know, I have finished my second book ‘Flight of a Fledgling’ which is in final stages of proof-reading . However, I have been also working on a much improved and larger 2nd Edition of my first book,‘What Birds Teach Us’, which is currently approaching its the finishing stages. I am hoping to them publish together. There has been a call to me from educators and counselors to produce a book that will help our youth in schools with the current issues they face. In response several additional birds have been added as well as more improved photos and a more attractive design. I will keep you posted, and it will be available here online also. My first book is almost sold out of print and will become unavailable very soon. But you can still purchase it here online here.
It has been difficult at times to not get worried about not working to earn an income, especially with my wife still working. God has comforted me knowing that this book writing is an important part of my life legacy to future generations, and that this season in life is meant to be as it is. It is good to have the comfort and peace of knowing that this is part of his plan for us and not to panic and look at it through the world’s eyes, but keep focused on his good and perfect will.
“And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
“For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NET)
Have a wonderful week, whatever you do live a long and enjoyable life by adopting an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’.
NOTE: All photos, videos and music used on this website are photographed, composed, performed by the site owner and remains his copyrighted property, unless otherwise stated. The use of any material that is not original material of the site owner is duly acknowledged as such. © W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.