I ventured out birding on Tuesday, to get a break from writing, in search from a reported sighting of a Black Bittern, which to my disappointment I did not find, though this is often the case when stalking these secretive sleuths. However, on a visit to Bushell’s Lagoon, usually a waterbird paradise, there was unusually little to be found. However, to my delight there was one lone photographer/birder where normally there are several, presently in search of the elusive Australasian Bittern, though appearances have become less due to the roadside reeds being knocked over by recent rains, and the birds feeling safer at a further distance where they can hide. We were however able to capture the Golden-headed Cisticola flitting about and a few shorebirds.
The delight came when talking with Vas, and sharing our bird findings around Sydney, that he happened to live near Wianamatta Nature Reserve and had become acquainted with the behaviour of the Red-capped Robin family that live there, which I had only seen on one occasion with my wife, but had pursued previously on many occasions, posted here. From the feature photo above you can clearly see that Vas kindly took me to the Reserve and showed me the places and behaviour pattern of this bird, for which I was truly thankful. On cue the male and female Red-capped Robin appeared, just as he said they would with their classic Robin curiosity checking us out. Robins are non migratory and territorial and therefore very predictable and easy to find most of the year, if you know where they hang out. They are basically insectivorous but unlike most other Robins, enjoy foraging in dry open forest areas including desert regions. It has, along with the Hooded Robin, the largest geographic distribution over mainland Australia of any Robin.
Unfortunately, the female of the species is very shy and is difficult to get good clear images as she perches under the cover of a tree. The male however boldly stands out on a bare branch. The female has only a light patch of red on her head and not on her chest.
The name Robin was taken originally from a female girl’s name in the 15th Century as the European Robin was then known as Robin Redbreast, and was later shortened to Robin. Of course the European Robin actually has an orange breast, for the colour orange had not yet described. This only occurred when the fruit was discovered by the ocean explorers who brought oranges back to Europe from China and India. Before this it was called yellow-red. We know that when the British ornithologists gave English and Latin names to Australian birds, they were actually confronted with truly red breasted Robins, in fact 5 varieties, each with different shades and intensities of red, one of which is the above bird. I endeavour to do a post on all of these Robins at a later date.
Not long after the Robins appeared for us and I caught the above images, they suddenly became scarce and did not appear at all. Even the usual finches were not present. As we walked through the reserve in search, we found the possible reason. A Brown Goshawk was resting in a nearby tree nearby and is a great threat to the safety of the bright and easily detectable Red-capped Robin, which would make a nice meal. We soon left and made our various ways home. This underpins the blessing of meeting and talking with other birders, and the wealth of information that can be gained as well as shared. If you would like to view some of Vas’s amazing bird images, especially his flight shot specials go to Instagram at vs_images or click here.
Have a great week birding and stay warm! I have completed the text of my second book and am now discussing with the publisher the choice of format which means more work to do. If this is your first visit to my blog please explore my Website Homepage menu for more birding tips and info.
My inspiration this week came from this music video I saw in a coffee shop while out birding, made by Jason Mraz “Love is Still the Answer” I was quite moved by his performance and reminds me how important everyone is in our life and around about us, and how they need to know and feel love, just as we do. Love brings peace and security and is the opposite of fear which produces the inner turmoil and insecurity that reveals itself in lies, prejudice, hated, injustice, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness.
“Be humble and gentle in every way. Be patient with each other and lovingly accept each other.” – Ephesians 4:2 (GW)
“No fear exists where love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.” – 1 John 4:18 (GW)
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.