Last weekend my wife and I spent a few days in the Newcastle area to celebrate our wedding anniversary and have some birding time together, as well as birding time out walking and birding with my eldest son and his boys. One of the places we love to visit when there is the Walka Water Works near Maitland which seldom disappoints us, especially during Spring-Summer months.
the meaning of Walka
bird signs along the track
This old steam driven water pumping station has long been decommissioned and now used as a museum and function centre. The man made lake is home to many waterbirds, and surrounding forest around it houses many passerines. The walk around the lake is always a delight as you never know what you might see. As we were about to commence our walk this flock of Corella were spooked and took off in flock.
The bird we were most wanting to see on the lake was the Great Crested Grebe, with its young. The last time we were here in Spring we saw the mating dance as well as very young juveniles being carried on the backs of the father Grebe. I figured that on this late Summer visit we would see the next stage of juvenile development, and we did.
Several families were present and the young were at various stages of maturity.
Surprising as it is the grey striping on white does camouflage the babies from the air, where their main predator will come from. This lake, surrounded by grassed flood plain is an ideal raptor hunting area, and guess what the next bird that came over head was?… The majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle, our largest eagle, with a wingspan of about 2.3 meters (7.5′). I was so pleased that it came overhead to examine us.
As it soared away from us it was suddenly in pursuit by what appeared to be a Magpie, but due to the intense back-lighting of the clouds was difficult to confirm. Wedgies are often chased by brave smaller birds, displaying their commitment to their family’s safety. This cat and mouse chase went on for several minutes, as the eagle soared up higher and higher making it more difficult for its assailant.
Later we found the pair of Wedgies working a paddock nearby and swiftly left when their keen eyesight spotted us watching.
Wedgie pair leaving
Walking along the track we saw an amazing little incident with two Red-browed Finches. It appeared that the male was presenting the grass seed gift as a wedding ring followed by an acceptance and immediate mating. At first he mounted for a few seconds and now sexual contact was made, and then he mounted again and for several seconds there was intense movement as he watched the face of his partner. The movement helped to blur the photo. Then it was all over and he is left holding the grass. The female has a slightly narrower supercilium than the male. Now there is a word to explore!
First bring a grass seed gift to the female
Wait for it to be received
Mount the female like so
Proceed to mate watching to see she is OK
There that’s your sex education done
Walking further along we were charmed by the beautiful chime of the Pied Butcherbird, one of my favorite bird calls which brings back memories of living on my property years ago. He did get a little worried at one stage when a pair of Musk Lorikeets flew toward him.
Rapidly moving Grey Fantails, Silvereye and Yellow Thornbill were flying with an MFF (Mixed Feeding Flock).
We just caught a glimpse of a White-bellied Sea Eagle before it escaped our view, after it had just passed over the lake.
White-bellied Sea Eagle escaping us
It was surprising to also see a Spangled Drongo. These birds are usually found alone and migrate south from northern Queensland during Summer months, though usually not this far south. The fish tail is always a help in identifying it.
Just then we had another raptor moment when a Whistling Kite came over with a youngster in tow. Notice the adult always flies above the juvenile to make sure it is safe and not getting into mischief.
A pair of Hardheads cruised together on the water. The male has the white eye. A parent Dusky Moorhen was taking her two youngsters out for a cruise also, as a Little White Cormorant flew bye and a pair of Little Black Cormorant also were out together for a cruise.
Little Black Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
After an enjoyable walk we made our way back to our accommodation, checking out Ash Island Wetlands on the way. We found most of the birds had left after the rains and as usual my wife prayed the prayer “What have you got for us here Lord?” as we were leaving, a large unusual bird with a long tail ran with head down across the road in front of the car, flying to a nearby tree some distance from the road with prey in mouth. It was a Pheasant Coucal a rare bird not usually seen here. We tried to get a better view but it hid in a Casuarina tree.
What a great way to finish an anniversary birding date. We were very grateful for a wonderful day out.
May you all have a wonderful week and get opportunities to get out and about. We are enjoying over 50 days virus free in our state and pray it continues as restrictions slowly lift. My new book is almost at the printing stage, looking at a possible April release, similar to last year.
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The Noisy Miner is one of the most aggressive bully birds in Australia, the cause of much stress, occasional deaths and nesting failures among many small birds. Above my friend Noisy leads his little coalition against my friend Butch, the father Grey Butcherbird who also frequents our birdbaths with his family. My second edition of “What Birds Teach Us” assists children to deal with bullies such as these. Occasionally the Miners will attempt to gang up and mob Butch or his family if he is too close to a nest, but Butch in this case is just ignoring them as he looks for insects in a Bottlebrush tree next door to us. Later he calls from the inside the other side of the tree after they left and could not find him.
Both these species provide a service to us. The Butcherbird sings and chuckles all day to me which I thoroughly enjoy and makes me smile inside and give thanks, while the bold Miners protect our yard continually from intruding vagrant, non native pest birds with their vigilant aggressive stance. We care for them both, though people would wonder why.
It is good to maintain a balance in relationships and show no partiality, accepting the person for who they are with a non judgmental attitude. If it is possible retain friendships with all people by showing respect, acceptance and understanding. We must however be careful to not take sides or enter into conversation that favors one side over the other, but simply listen and show empathy. If the person shows disrespect because you are friends with their opponent, step back and do not continue, but let them know you care and show no partiality for both parties. It does not mean you condone any inappropriate behaviour, or agree with it, but instead respect them and try to understand why they are doing what they do. You can only do this by developing a relationship, and spending time. It is in this context that we can be an instrument of positive change and healing to another person. We can eventually help them understand why they do what they do as they respond to our friendship and eventually trust us enough to share from their heart.
“Hatred stirs up conflict, but lovecovers over all wrongs.” – Proverbs 10:12 (NIV)
“Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” – James 3:18
“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” – Proverbs 17:1
Above my female (left) and alpha male (right) Australian Magpies give thanks as they carol by our birdbaths, as they do each morning in appreciation.
As passerine bird numbers have dropped after our unseasonable cold wet weather, with only the sound of cicadas on many walking trails, I decided to check out the river mud flats of the Georges River which flows out into Botany Bay. Being so close to the coast it is tidal, and its beaches provide my best local view of waders, especially in the Summer months, as rain does not seem to affect their numbers. The Pied Oystercatcher (pictured below) has become endangered in our state of NSW, mainly due to it’s breeding habitat being over run by people and dogs walking and 4WDs being allowed to drive on the beaches where they breed.
Pied Oystercatcher with Light-Blue Soldier Crabs
Pied Oystercatcher with Light-Blue Soldier Crabs
This Pied Oystercatcher was my first find for the day, and was an immature. Notice the dark tip on the orange-red beak and the brownish-black primary plumage.
The juvenile looks even more motley. Here is a family with 2 parents and juvenile I saw at another location down south where they breed in a protected area. Their young are very prone to predication, as they are so exposed.
Pied Oystercatcher family
Pied Oystercatcher juvenile
Both parents defend and attend the nest, which is a simple recessed hole lined with seaweed above the high tide shore line. They maintain a 200 meter exclusion zone around the nest, which is an impossible feat on our populated beaches, which is why our local council constructed a purpose built nesting island for these and other shorebirds to breed on.
A pair of Pied Oystercatchers fly to the safety of the man made nesting island on Georges River
Several Pied Oystercatcher families strolled along the waterline in easy reach of the nesting island.
One was trying his beak at extracting an oyster from some rocks, which is what they named for. They pry open the oyster to eat its contents, and there are many on the rocks along this river.
As you can see from above photos the Light Blue Soldier Crabs were on the march again, moving together in their little battalions.
Interesting, a juvenile Australian Raven decided to taste them, not sure what it thought about the flavour as I did not see it eat another.
After a scan of the waters edge which was a fare way out at this very low tide, I found the little family clan of Bar-tailed Godwits, which are always the first bird I look for. In this case I was detecting if any were starting to show signs of breeding plumage for my study on them, as we are only a few weeks off the end of Summer. I did notice very small orange patches on the breast of some.
Check the breast of the Godwit on the right.
Others showed no signs yet. The males will show first and the females will start changing later. Most showed no changes, especially the immatures, as they will not breed till a year or two. Notice they are not interested in the Soldier Crabs, they eat the smaller softer shelled crabs they pull out of the wet sand with their long slightly curved beak.
There was a good turn up of Crested Tern resting on the beach with the Silver Gulls (not shown), all facing into the strong NE winds. It was lovely to spot one juvenile with its parent.
Terns and Gulls are often seen resting together. Notice they all face into the wind.
Just then I heard this raucous screeching of hundreds of Little Corella rising up out of the pine trees along the shore. I also noticed many of the Gulls and Terns looking anxious, with some taking flight. I knew to immediately look up, as a raptor had to be circling above, and yes it was a Nankeen Kestrel. However when it flew over the sun I lost it and only got one almost decent shot.
The flock taking flight is a power strategy of the flock, which not only destroys the raptors attempt at stealth, but also confuses the bird making it difficult to pick one out. The loud noise also discourages attack. Birds who share a local habitat, learn the alarm calls of other species, and will respond to their calls. Birds of the Parrot species are particularly skilled at this as they are mainly flock birds, and as my book shares, there is protection in the flock.
After things settled I noticed the shyest of waders and the largest, the Eastern Curlew, on the far side of the river, which a Pied Oystercatcher had decided to befriend and follow, much to the disinterest of the lone Curlew. The Curlew appeared to be only recently maturing. These birds are critically endangered and we are seeing less of them return from migration every year, as they are an easy catch for the Asian fowlers, who sell them in the markets after capturing them while they feed on the crustaceans when they stop for a break during their migration.
Before leaving I watched a immature Australian Pelican land. You will notice the brown patches changing from its juvenile plumage.
Here is a little treat for my overseas followers of a bird you all love to see, and which we hear and see constantly here in Sydney. I captured this footage as this Rainbow Lorikeet fed from eucalypt blossom in our local park, just before the storm. You will notice it does not have the long beak or tongue of the honeyeater, but that it rolls the nectar with its stubby tongue from the flower into its mouth.
Enjoy your week and stay safe. The cooler wetter weather continues here, and I know from reports the ultra cold winter freeze continues in the northern hemisphere. Here is a funny joke someone posted on Facebook:
Funny and silly as this joke appears, there is an element of truth to be gleaned from it. You see, the truth is that we are meant to be constantly moving forward through the tunnel and out to the other side, where one can get off the track and be safe again from the dark and gloomy emotional experiences we each experience at times in our lives. These situations may occur as one grieves a significant loss, of loved one, relationship, job or finances for example. Most people resolve their grief over a period of time, but there are those occasions where people may hang onto it and become locked into it which is known as becoming stuck in one’s grief. Resentment, Bitterness and Unforgiveness of self and/or others is often the cause of the prolonged Winter of the soul, which over a period of time leads to depression. Grief is natural protective mechanism provided by our Creator to enable us to step out of our busy life for a moment to reassess our loss, re establish our new normal minus the loss, and step back into life to a new Spring, at the other end of the tunnel. Only resolving grief will bring in the Spring. Unresolved grief may also be the result of false guilt, whereby the sufferer blames themselves for the loss, when it was not their fault. This needs lots of positive reassurance. Prolonged unresolved grief may need counselling therapy to help the sufferer to become unstuck. It usually requires forgiving someone, since unforgiveness is the main reason people remain trapped in the dark tunnel of gloom. As the rhyme goes: to Blame is to Remain. Handling grief is one of the topics dealt with in my next book soon to be released called “Flight of a Fledgling”.
“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” – Matthew 6:15 (NIV)
Matthew 18: 21-35 is one of the best teachings on grace and forgiveness which Jesus shared. The crux of the parable which many have a problem understanding is this part:
“… In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.” (verse 34)
The inference to torture in this parable is referring to the self imposed prison that one places themselve in when they hold a grudge and fail to forgive. My wife says it this way, speaking of the the one not forgiving: The sufferer drinks the poison hoping that the offender will die. This of course illustrates the futility of unforgiveness. It does not get them off the hook, they are still guilty when you forgive them, but it allows you to get yourself off the blame and shame hook, which eventually will cause physical and emotional illness, as it keeps the unhealthy flight and fight hormones over active, which causes anxiety and loss of peace, increases blood pressure and the risk of many different diseases, including auto immune syndromes, which are on the increase in our modern society. Forgiveness returns the feel good hormones and also returns the peace.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
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.’
My wife and I have come to value the days we have together now that she works part time. We enjoy our birding dates more frequently. Last week we had two within a couple of days which allowed us to catch up with our riverside friends in our local Royal National Park (by the Hacking River) and also the waders at Dolls and Taren Point (by the Georges River). Above are the two kinds of Kingfisher we found alone along the Hacking River, and both birds were seen within minutes of each other, fishing the river.
Firstly we checked on the juvenile Sulphur-crested Cockatoo that I showcased last post, but the parent had left the baby alone, and was on the grass by the river with the many other Cockies and Little Corellas pulling up grass and grass roots, as they do at particular times with their sharp hooked beak. Little Corella pair for life and are one of the most playful birds I have seen.
My wife saw an Australasian Swamphen building its nest on top of a lily bed on the actual river itself. The bird was away gathering material when I photographed her nest.
Swamphen nest on lily pads
Of course the Australian Wood Duck family were sharing the same area on the grass by the river, and the father attacked me and a Cockie when it seemed we were breaching its exclusion zone.
protective father wood duck
peacefully grazing by the river
wood duck babies
family peacefully resting by the river
On the dried part of the river bank I noticed an immature Masked Lapwing trying to assess the food value of a stone, as its father looked on, wondering what it was doing. You will notice that the wattle on the immature bird has not fully developed as yet.
adult Masked Lapwing
Immature Masked Lapwing
Just then I saw out of the corner of my bad eye a tiny bright blue blob on a dead branch projecting out of the river. My wife checked it out with her binos and I put it in my sights, it was the very elusive and human shy, Azure Kingfisher which works the river along with the many other species of waterbirds. It would dive super fast into the water returning to the same spot with a tiny fish.
It is an extremely fast flying bird and being so small is difficult to catch in flight.
Within a few minutes I sighted the larger cousin, the Sacred Kingfisher also fishing the river nearby. Notice the vertical elevating and dropping tail sequence which is a feature of many male birds when they wish to assert their territory and ward off intruders. Kookaburras (a Kingfisher by family) do the same.
As we followed the track along the river I was able to show my wife the Sacred Kingfisher nest that was high in a eucalypt tree which I found on a previous walk. It was a former arboreal termite nest which Kingfishers and Kookaburras use for their own nest, after punching holes in it with their large strong beaks, by flying at it repeatedly till they form a hole large enough for them to enter. I had wanted to show my wife and had hoped that we would see them coming and going from it, but not today. What we did see was a Kingfisher in a nearby tree sitting alone and calling.
arboreal termite nest
Sacred Kingfisher calling
As we walk further we heard nearby the loud call of the Eastern Whipbird male and female. Those who have purchased my book “What Bird Teach Us” will know how to detect both male and female calls, and their significance.
We continually peered into the dark forest undergrowth to catch a flash of this extremely elusive and fast low flying bird. As a novice birder years ago it was the most frustrating and difficult bird to actually photograph. I would spend hours right next to this bird but could not get a visible look, as it foraged underneath thick bushes, flicking up leaf litter in a similar way to other rainforest birds. The problem is that I am standing in the light, quite visible to him, and he in the dark can see me and leave without me knowing. In the first shot he is calling. Be aware when viewing the following photos that they have been lightened considerably and shot through a very small hole in the bush, so the quality suffered, but with this bird on most occasions, these captures are not too bad.
Male Eastern Whipbird
Walking further, my wife sighted this Short-beaked Echidna (known to many as the Spiny Anteater) right beside the track. This shy monotreme seldom seen, was busy poking his nose into ant nests. This is the second time we have seen this little guy here. You can see why it can be difficult to spot.
Having checked out our riverside friends by the rainforest, a couple of days later we made our way to our favorite observation beach at low tide on the Georges River to visit our wader friends who were busily foraging. The adult Bar-tailed Godwit, now adorning their lighter non-breeding plumage were more conspicuous against the juveniles, who had joined them now the family was reunited after the recent return of their parents.
Non Breading plumage (foreground)
avoiding the larger crabs
a younger Godwit
Godwits on the move
Light Blue Soldier Crabs
a swarm of crabs in military array
searching for smaller crabs
We were delighted to also see on the same beach this immature White-faced Heron alone and quite tame, possibly the offspring of the adult pair I saw last time I was on this beach.
We did not see the lone Eastern Curlew which frequents the beach, as many people were present, and the Curlew is extremely fearful of people, taking flight on even the furthermost approach. So we drove around the river to the Taren Point Shorebird Reserve where we sighted our shy Curlew friend poking its head and long beak deep into the wet sand, also seeking small crabs and worms. This the largest of our migratory waders and is in decline.
As we walked further around the river to the man made bird nesting island a fair way off from the shore, we noticed two broods of baby Silver Gull, at different stages of development. These photos have been heavily cropped. There was also a gull sitting on her nest, quietly anticipating her new family.
Mother & Father with chicks 2
viewing across Botany Bay
Silver Gull on nest
Mother and chicks 1
Lastly, we noticed this family of Welcome Swallow (endemic to Australia) feeding its youngsters. These birds get their name because no matter wherever you go in Australia, these birds will always be there to welcome you with their presence, as they forage on the fly. They are often the first bird you will see, and sometimes the only bird, since they eat flying insects, which are numerous everywhere, they do not require particular habitats as other birds do and can adapt to most conditions, providing they can access fresh water. They are often seen skimming into water to wash, drink and refresh in one rapid action. You will notice the juveniles lack the colouring of the adult on the right. A very pleasant walk together in the cool breeze on a hot afternoon.
Have a wonderful week my birding friends, and to those new to my blog and website, please feel free to explore it from the Menu or Home Page. You may find interesting birding tips and information that may help you enjoy life, gleaned from how birds do life.
Look no further for the unique and beautiful Christmas gift for your special loved one, that will continue to give…
This video doesn’t exist
Welcome Swallow adult with two youngsters
Insects are a major food source for almost all bird species, and if birds ceased to exist, us humans would find life unbearable, due to the massive volumes they consume of what we term pests, some of which cause disease and death. Birds such as the Swallows, Swifts and Needle-tails basically spend their lives eating insects on the fly and seldom landing, which enables them to live almost anywhere they desire, though they prefer warmer moderate climates. Their focused commitment to their diet is inspiring as much as it is a blessing for us all. We can learn to be focused on what we are good at doing and be a blessing to others as well as ourselves, rather than spread ourselves out thinly trying many different ways and aspects of life, which give little return emotionally, relationally or physically.
It is wise to consider the 80/20 principle which states many of us spend 80% of our time on 20% of activities that are not productive, which results in frustration and discouragement, when we could be spending 80% of our time and energy on the 20% that produces the highest results and satisfaction. An inspired and passionate person with little talent can succeed and do well because their energy and heart are poured into their focused goal, whereas, many more talented people give up and become discouraged because they fail to focus on what they have rather than on what they don’t.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” – Proverbs 11:25
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.’
Six years ago I did not know what a ‘blog’ was until my son and daughter-in-law suggested I start one. My wife and I wanted to encourage birding as a healthy recreational pursuit for families and couples. Most blogs at that time were focused mainly on photography of birds and ornithological subjects, and we wanted something for the beginner and the ordinary everyday person, focused more on enjoyment, observing and learning about our Aussie birds. Stepping onto the page I started a whole new world initiating my weekly blog posts and the Red-tailed Tropicbird avatar for aussiebirder through WordPress, which later moved into aussiebirder.com.
This occurred as I was writing my first book,and when I was seeing the parallel of bird behaviour with human behaviour, having studied family counselling and having a passion for the future of our younger generation. Over the years this grew into much more than I had originally anticipated. During that time I have been asked to speak and assist in various projects, as well as market my book and teach through my website which has generated some lovely relationships for myself and my wife, which we continue to enjoy. I personally thank all of my dear blog followers, especially those who take the time to read through my often long posts, with a special thank you for those who are brave enough to give encouraging comments, which at times have helped me continue. The words of Napoleon are true:
I have also created an aussiebirder YouTube Channel since where I am gradually adding interesting videos about Australian birds and their behavioural characteristics, and lessons what we can learn from them at: aussibirder YouTube
It is Spring here in Australia, as you can see by the Australian Wood Duck featured above. A time for new beginnings and new life experiences. The opportunity for many to pass from the dark winter of the soul to the new life opportunities and experiences of Spring, especially at this time where globally every human alive has suffered one form of loss or another through the extraordinary year that was unexpectedly cancelled. You may recall this video:
By now you are probably asking: “Where are the birds ? !” Well, this week’s post is a little different as I take time to reflect and appreciate the journey thus far as I move into the 7th year.
Now for some birds. I noticed this Noisy Miner yesterday spreading its wings out over a sandy mound in the warm Spring sun. After a few minutes it does a quick preen and lies there again, quite vulnerable to passing walkers. You may have come across this with birds from your own area. There are various proposed explanations of which all may be true. In summary, it can be for shear pleasure as it feels good to bathe in the Spring sun after a cold Winter. It can also be that the heat of the sun forces the lice and mites in the plumage to the edges of the wings and tail for easy removal by the bird, which is why they have short preens between their sun bathing. Some birds do this near ants, where the formic acid in the ants, causes the mites to leave (some species of ants will actually remove the mites). Should they preen immediately before and after they sun bathe, the warmth of the sun assists the preening oil to spread evenly over the feathers.
As a recently retired Seniour Scientist, I focus on using the skills and learning I have acquired over the years to assist, teach and encourage people, especially children and young people, to navigate a happy and healthy life through making wise/good life choices, which many of you know is a feature of my book “What Birds Teach Us” and also my second book “Flight of a Fledgling” to follow later in the year. This is my legacy. This led me to give dynamic interactive talks which I especially enjoyed, such as with this school, where I appear as Aussiebirder, which generated an amazing response in Primary School aged children.
My book has led me to experience the blessing of being given premium space in a very popular local art show and also in the Australian Bird Fair. It was great chatting with people from the community and answering their questions. It is amazing how the book has helped so many people, and my wife and I have received many testimonies of how it helped people of all ages, and has been reported to have helped a suicidal person have a complete change of mind. For this I am truly thankful and feel very humbled and privileged.
OWPS Community Fair
Aust. Bird Fair
Thankfully, the Covid has not stopped my book selling all over Australia, in fact sales have been better than ever at present as our state has been separated from the rest of the country due to travel restrictions and closed state borders, preventing people from holidaying outside the state. Business is booming in many of the shops and visitor centres where my book is sold. My selling clientele has recently expanded and continually expanding to most of the main cities and towns in our state as well as capital cities over Australia, for which I am truly thankful and feel greatly blessed. I love how many of my clients have embraced the vision and legacy behind the book, and not just its beautiful appearance. I am delighted when one of my grandsons discovers my book on display when we visit various National Parks Visitor Centres on our birding outings.
This has been a nostalgic moment, though the publishing of the Second Edition mid Covid lock-down was a great achievement. A new beginning for a book that ceased to exist because it was sold out of print. My publisher sent photos of his children copying photos from book, and how it was already being enjoyed by them during the lock-down.
Speaking of new beginnings ! Spring brings with it the adorning of breeding plumage for many species such as both the Superb and Variegated Fairy-wrens, both species seen again in the same places as last week. These tiny insectivorous birds are constantly on the move. Here I captured the male and female Superb Fairy-wren moving together, soon to be nesting.
Fairy wrens despite my depiction of their heroic actions to protect their family sighted in my book, are quite promiscuous. In fact, Sir David Attenborough has called them “the most promiscuous bird known”. Much research has been done on their sex lives. Both sexes of the Superb Fairy wren are socially monogamous (staying in the same partnerships), but sexually promiscuous, an aspect I do not condone or highlight in my book. Notice how he is easy to spot even though he is so small. When he is in this bright breeding plumage it makes him more vulnerable to attack from other birds and predators, hence the need to be moving very cautiously and quickly. My challenge is to get him in focus fast enough. Sadly there are many blurred photos before I get a good one, when he stops for more than two seconds.
Again, this Variegated Fairy-wren male was spotted in the same place as last week. This one is even more difficult to capture.
Another group of birds I found in the same location was this small family of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo. One of the youngsters (last photo) continued to call out. The one I managed to capture through the trees in the distance was a juvenile male. Notice the eye ring is not yet pink and the feathers are mottled brown with some black feathers forming.
One little bird I always love to see on my walks and I saw for the first time in a while, is this Eastern Yellow Robin. This is our most common rainforest robin and very curious always coming quite close to take a look at me. Here it is in its classic tree hanging pose. This insectivorous robin feeds from the ground, where it dives from trees to the ground and back up again. It is known to occasionally follow me along the track watching all the time to see if I turn up or stir up any insects as I walk.
The Top-knot Pigeons had gone, as they had eaten all the palm fruits in that area, and I did not manage to see the Scarlet Honeyeater again. The Golden Whistlers continued in full chorus, though I did not manage any good captures, but I did catch this beautiful Little Wattlebird with tongue partially extended. This is one of over 70 of our many species of Honeyeater.
Of course, to finish, a bright red bird, since the King Parrots eluded me today, one that was present in pairs was this Eastern Crimson Rosella, another chaser of seed from the previous Summer.
Thank you for taking the time to allow me share with you this review. I have equally enjoyed following your blogs and learning more about your birds from different parts of Australia and the world. I do hope you enjoy your week. For those in lock-down and various forms of deprivation and grieving loss, we pray continually for comfort, peace and a resolution for the current global crisis. It is interesting that no other time in history has there been so many people searching on the internet for information about God and Prayer and Faith related issues as now. Everyone seeks peace and consolation of mind and heart to navigate this uncertain time and remain safe and sane.
There was a man called Paul the Apostle who once wrote:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.I can do all this through him [God] who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4: 12,13 (NIV)
Jesus himself comforted his followers with these words:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27 (NIV)
Finally, a verse that has been a great help to me and which has continues to prove true for me is:
“You will keep in perfectpeace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” – Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)
If you would like to explore my Birder Sanctuary page you will find more Faith Based help and encouragement which is gleaned from our birds to help navigate this unprecedented time in our history.
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.’