You may remember last week my wife and I sited 2 female Gang Gang Cockatoo feeding quitely in Barren Grounds NP. Last Thursday, in response to a tip off siting, I left early in the morning, through thick pea soup fog, making my way to the Central Coast area near Gosford in search of a large flock of Gang Gang Cockatoo. The reason we are seeing them, and other cockatoo at this time of year is because they have come down from the mountains for a warmer winter and to eat the seeds from the uneaten pods on the various coastal native and introduced trees. In spring most will return to the mountains to a cooler summer climate.
On arriving at the exact location the Cockies were last sited, three days before, I was pleasantly delighted to find in this driveway lined with Liquid Amber trees the flock hidden high among the bare branches in the morning sun, munching on the seed pods. The telltale signs of their presence, beside the sound of falling debris, were the hundreds of spent seed pods on the ground. There were many males and several females. The following is an immature male, which is continuing to gain his male red crown but slowly loosing his orange frontal bands, which are found on females and juvenile birds. Females lack the red head dress.
Sadly the females, were very evasive and constantly hid from my camera, in a similar way to the female King Parrot. This was the only clear shot I got before she saw me and hid.
There language or call has been likened to a squeaky door, and as you can hear they are not far wrong.
I just admired them as they fed in this very beautiful part of the world, with green moist rainforest surrounding. You will hear the sound of an Eastern Whipbird in the background.
Gang Gang is the native Australian name for these birds which several Aborigine tribes used. When a word is repeated in their language it usually means many or large number of whatever, such as lots of Gang or large flock of Gang. I just enjoyed watching the males head dress in the sun…
Watching how this immature male holds the seed pod to his mouth as he crunches it with is intelligently designed beak for the purpose. It is wonderful how God has designed birds to know what their food is because they are actually designed with the equipment, and know how to use it.
Soon they flock started to be come suddenly startled and took flight.
There were over 30 birds all suddenly gone, flying back and forth across the valley, so I left, happy that I did actually see them after a 2 hour drive.
Silently in nearby trees Eastern Crimson Rosella also dined on these tasty Liquid Amber fruit.
Leaving after the flock had left, I made my way through the fog to a mountain nature reserve called Girrakool Nature Reserve Loop Track where I shared a coffee and bickie with a female Australian Brush Turkey, who was quite friendly, looking for handouts.
During my walk along the creek loop track I came across an area of quite noisy communication between several White-cheeked Honeyeater, which are seen here this time of year.
Watch as one of these birds does its staccato call. I love how its tail and whole body are involved, such passion and feeling in their call. Recent ornithological neurological studies show that the feel good endorphin effect, like that we get from laughing or singing or feeling elated is similar when these birds sing or call passionately.
It was good to see that some nectar producing flowers were out, which was a good sign for the presence of the honeyeater.
As I made my way back I suddenly pulled to the side of the road when I saw this large raptor a Square-tailed Kite circling over some trees, where various birds fled and chased it, but it continued for some time, as if it had a target in mind. This is not a commonly seen raptor, so it was blessed find. You can see from the tail how it gets its name.
If this is your first visit to my blog, why not explore my website for helpful birding tips here or find out more about my recent book release here.
As I returned home I was thankful that my journey was fruitful and was able to bring you more of the Gang Gangs in this post. During the loop walk I saw several waterfalls in full flow from recent rains. Considering it was only several months ago we were on water restrictions and deep in drought.
Water is essential to the life of every living thing. Birds build their nests near fresh water, which makes them easy to find. Our lives flow like a waterfall or stream, constantly pouring out to the small part of the world that surrounds us. We have the power to refresh and give life to those we meet each day by our words and body language. Words are powerful and so are our gestures, a smile, a G’day to a stranger, an encouraging acknowledgement of ones taste in dress, or achievements, all give life and add value to the people we meet. We all have a love deficit of some form which needs refilling, because we leak. We can help others overflow when we overflow with love and encouragement. When I was training with Suicide Assist the instructor shared this story after we had all shared why we were doing the course: “I was walking down the street one day and passed a man who looked sad, so I looked him in the eyes and gave him a big smile, and walked on thinking nothing more of it. Several years later, I asked a group of newbies to the course ‘Why they were doing the course ?’ and one man passionately pointed toward me and said: ” Because of this man I am here and alive today, he saved my life with a smile. I was on my way to act out my suicide, and when he smiled, I realised there was more to life, that some one actually cared enough for me to smile. That random act of kindness saved my life, and now I want to help save others like me.”
‘Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.’ – Proverbs 12:25
‘Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.’ – Proverbs 19:17
Enjoy your week, and enjoy getting out and about again. Be thankful with an Attitude of Gratitude and couple this each day with a deliberate random act of kindness and this will be health and happiness for your body and soul. Who knows how many lives you will bless !
W. A. Hewson (Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy).
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, 2020.