Having enjoyed the beautiful Spring weather on a birding date with my wife, I decided to have a break from continuing with Part two of our journey out west and share our latest birding date very early Friday morning in the Nasho (The Royal National Park). Early, to avoid the crowds that would come now that school holidays are underway, and early to hopefully see Lyrebirds and other people shy birds, that bikers, joggers and loudly talking walkers often drive back into the bush on their approach. To our delight we were some of the first to arrive. It was a cool 11°C in the crisp valley air as we made our way along the trail, which initially was faily quiet but for the noisy Rainbow Lorikeets feeding on the eucalypt blossom.
As we continued the sound of the Whipbird nearby as the male and female were communicating, but they both remained illusive as per usual. Several groups of Golden Whistler were in song along the trail, each singing a different tune. We only managed to catch one male just after he caught some food. He held on to it and waited for us to go before leaving for (what most likely is) the nest, since her did not eat it immediately.
The native wild flowers were in bloom as many varieties lit up the trail. This variety of Red Spider Grevillea had an Eastern Spinebill feeding from it. These nectar rich flowers feed our many Honeyeaters, as they grow in our very nutrient poor Australian soils, this is a miracle in itself.
The very large Gymea Lily flower which has been developing for months is finally in full flower throughout the park.
Here are some of the other unique and beautiful wildflowers currently in flower in our park.
As expected this early in the morning we came upon this female Superb Lyrebird foraging for worms and insects. This rainforest bird spends most of its life scratching through leaf litter and moist soil for its food, and only flies out of necessity to avoid danger or cross the river. The female is easily identified by its rufous throat and very plain tail plumage.
As usual the Eastern Yellow Robin followed us for a bit of the way, from tree to tree. This bird feeds from the ground also, and would currently be nesting and out looking for food.
Suddenly the lens is pointed skyward as we both excitedly hear the call of the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and saw this pair fly over head.
As we walked on the buzzing sound was heard in a nearby tree, the classic call of the Satin Flycatcher which I only managed these two shots.
As we walked deeper into the rainforest we heard the classic sound, we had never heard here in our own Nasho, but had heard in others, the sound of a pair of Green Catbird calling to one another. This usually occurs at night, but here as loud as anything we heard and finally with much effort finally sighted this very elusive bird which is very shy and very difficult to see in a dark canopy. The Catbird is actually a member of the Bowerbird family and has many attributes like the Bowerbird. Listen to what we heard:
These were the only decent enough photos one of the birds would permit us before leaving.
You can appreciate why this bird is so difficult to locate in a dark rainforest, and this photo has been light enhanced.
We commenced our return along the track on our way back to dine at the park Cafe which now for the first time on many months (pre-Covid) now with the return of table service, for their beautiful cooked breakie we love, to celebrate our anniversary for tomorrow. Oh, I best remind you if you are unaware, we celebrate our wedding anniversary every 3rd of every month, as it was on the third of the third we were married. This allows us to ask each other how we are going and assess what we can do better, a good practice for a good marriage. As we walked we heard a an immature male Superb Lyrebird practicing hsi courtship song and dance from a very young age, considering he still had his tummy fluff, and resembled his mother with rufous throat and plain tail, but with male plumes finely developing beneath it on close observation. As will most juvenile birds they resemble the female until they approach mature breeding age around 4-6 years. By then they should have learnt and perfected their repertoire of many different bird sounds and dance routine to his own beat. Watch and note that this one has not developed his song list and most of his sounds are his own specie sounds. Note in the second part of the video he is starting to move his wings with is beat song.
This the very early stages of his dance being constructed, which he will perfect with much enthusiasm with daily practice for the next few years, and all for his few moments on his performance mound to impress females enough to mate with him. Notice he even practices his vocabulary as he preens, which made me chuckle.
As we came to the Big Fig Tree where many of the fruit eating birds are currently feeding as ripe native figs are on offer, we looked for Satin Bowerbirds which frequent it, and could be heard with their purring call. Both male and female were present feeding, but also very shy, especially the male, as usual. The male has the beautiful satin plumage and the female the olive green patterned chest with olive brown primaries.
As we looked, to our pleasant surprise, we sighted a small flock of Top-knot Pigeon, a bird we had seen some weeks ago feeding from the palm fruit deeper into the rainforest, which they had finally depleted. Most of the rainforest birds are native fruit eaters. They do not normally eat nectar, lerps or seed as most other passerines.
Finally we made our way to the cafe where we sat outside and had a wonderful breakie served by very efficient and friendly staff. We were greeted with a very excited “We have table service now, please take a seat and we will come and take your order.” It was only a few weeks ago where we were served outside through a window and had to sit out on the grass distanced from each other. We are very pleased with our government and their handling of the pandemic in our state and pray they be given wisdom to navigate us through it daily. We are blessed to be living in one of the worlds best managed states. This is the photo my wife took while waiting for our meal. A Waratah flower (our NSW state floral emblem) on our table next to her very good and compact binoculars (she purchased at the London Wetlands Centre) and her summer hat.
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Have a wonderful long weekend!
Spring is the time of hope, new life and new beginnings. We saw Dusky Moorhen with their new babies busily feeding them. So dependent, so trusting, so ready to learn and grow strong. As their parents feed them, they are also learning where and how their parents are retrieving their food. This will soon become their way of life also, there means of survival, so it is important they observe and learn, and not just wait to be fed, thinking this will be their future. Watching to learn.
Nearby the Chestnut Teal family, foraged. These little ones knew what to do as they are now copying their parent’s example, but still they are in the process of discerning what is edible from what is not. They soon realised after ingesting indigestible matter what is food and what is not. Here the parents are able to rest a while as they watched their keen young students practice what will become their way of life. Practicing to become Independent.
Every aspect and moment of our lives is teaching material for us to build on and grow in wisdom and character from, in a similar way to these young ones above. The most constructive and positive take on life is that we learn from its difficulties and challenges. As a CEO has hanging above his head in his office “There is no such thing as problems only challenges.” and likewise my saying concomitantly agrees saying to always look for the Treasure in the Trial. I believe there is a purpose in all of life’s buffetings and challenges, it all develops character and respect if we choose to learn from them.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4
For those of us who believe that their loving Creator Father God is working in their life to grow and mature their character:
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:1-11 (NIV)
W. A. Hewson (Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy).
‘To introduce people to our unique Australian birds,
So we can learn from them how to live a healthy and happy life.’
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.