One of my primary goals in life is to leave an appreciation of our natural heritage for our youth. Writing my first book (available here online) was one attempt at achieving this, followed by whetting an interest in family and friends to explore our native birds and also our beautiful bush with its unique trees, flowers and animals. Sharing a pair of binoculars many have had their eyes opened to a beautiful living world they had not known, hidden in the very trees they walk past, as they are introduced to the birding experience.
During the recent school holidays one of my grandsons came to stay and my wife and I took him on a bird walk in the Royal National Park near where we live. This park is affectionately known as the ‘Nasho’. You have seen many posts from this park, but it alive at the moment and the birds have returned because of the recent good rains and Spring, the time to court, mate and nest.
There is much song in the bush. Scientists have recently found that our birds not only sing in Spring to attract and communicate with their mate, but also sing both in and out of season for the love of it. Singing stimulates the release of feel good endorphins in the birds brain, making singing a very enjoyable experience. We heard and saw several male Golden Whistlers calling.
My grandson Joel, started enjoying spotting these birds high in the trees, seeing how beautiful they are, and how the binoculars bring them so close. His father had warned us not to take him birding too long, as he might get bored easy, but we kept asking him and he said he was enjoying the experience with us and we went further into the bush spending several hours exploring together. He saw several Golden Whistlers but only the male, as the female is possibly sitting on the nest. Click on photos to enlarge them.
We need to help our youth discover the benefits of birdingto save them from the tyranny of the electronic devices that preclude them from healthy exercise and an appreciation of their natural heritage. This grounding has therapeutic effects in actually lowering stress levels.It is not just birds we see but the beautiful Spring flowers high in nectar and food for our many honeyeaters.
We were quite amazed to find several flowering Waratah flowers, a rare treat, as many of these plants have been stolen from National Parks for their beauty. This is the floral emblem of our state NSW and its botanical name Telopea speciosissimameans ‘bright red beauty seen from afar‘, and that is exactly what these flowers are, they are iridescent flower heads made up of hundreds of tiny flowers. It is a difficult plant to grow in your garden at home and can not tolerate transplanting or being moved.
NSW Waratah (State floral emblem)
Another large red flower seen in the park is the Gymea Lily a plant indigenous to the Sydney area. It also has many smaller flowers that make up the large flower head. It stands majestically over four metres tall,,,
Most of the birds we saw were honeyeaters feeding off the flowering eucalypt trees. In Australia, unlike Europe, pollination is performed by the birds, not bees. Most of our pollinating bees were introduced. The Australian native bee is very tiny and is not the main pollinator. So it is a buz to see this Lewin’s Honeyeater feeding from flowers along with this Yellow-faced Honeyeater.
Yellow-faced Honeyeater feeding.
Lewin’s Honeyeater feeding on Spider Grevillea
Lewin’s Honeyeater feeding on Spider Grevillea
Lewin’s Honeyeater feeding on Spider Grevillea
The beautiful Eastern Spinebill was moving rapidly around the flowers and calling to its mates. This honeyeater has a long curved beak enabling it to reach deep into tubular flowers such as Bush Fuchsia (seen above) and larger flower heads.
This tiny Silvereye was also getting in on the action but was after insects…
It is always a delight to see and hear the Brown Thornbill, another tiny insectivorous bird as it moves around the tree’s lower canopy making its unique call…
By now Joel has seen and heard many birds and been introduced into a whole new world of discovery which we can only encourage him to continue to explore. Not many young people find it their cup of tea, but our desire is that at least some may be given the opportunity to sample the experience and learn the value of conserving our natural heritage for the future years when they will be the voters.
A highlight of the walk was to firstly hear and then site a White-throated Treecreeper as he was making his way up a eucalypt tree. He found an insect in the bark and proceeded carrying it, possibly collecting food for a nestling. The sound file below lets you know what you hear as he climbs the tree.
The sound of Yellow-tailed Cockatoo passing overhead caused quite an excitement, but we could only see their silhouette as we were deep in the forest.
So the message is, purchase two pair of binoculars, one for you and one for your birding guest then take your family and friends on a bird walk and share your love and knowledge with them. Your passion and love of birding will have a contagious affect on those who walk with you. Our prayer is that children will appreciate their natural heritage from a young age. I have enjoyed talking at seminars and schools in the past promoting this along with my book, and have had wonderful responses from both parent and child. I love talking to people who share my passion to save our youth from addiction to electronic gadgetry and the physical, social and emotional illnesses that accompany this.
Royal Spoonbills WORKING
Royal Spoonbills RESTING
We may need to help our youth strike a balance between work and rest, as spending time with electronic media etc is stressful work involving active mind and eye activity. The birds know how to work and rest but our modern coffee society has adrenal overload helping to bring on many chronic illnesses, simply because they are over stressed and not allowing enough time for rest and sleep. Self control and developing healthy habits, such as taking a walk in the park or bush each week can help to lower your stress level, reducing the chances of both physical and mental illness. Birding takes resting to the next level with endorphin release in the brain as an added enjoyment factor when a bird is sighted and appreciated. This is similar to what a bird experiences when it sings for the pure joy of it. We have the blessed honor of leaving a positive and memorable influence on our youth, a priceless legacy that may be passed on from generation to generation.
“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12
“Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives.”
“Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6 (NEV)
Have a wonderful week! I have been asked to continue working on my existing agreement to assist training staff before my full-time position is filled, so my second book writing remains on hold.
If this is your first visit to my blog, please take a minute to check out my website Homepage menu and helpful birding and counselling info. Check out my unique book which can be purchased through secure PayPal here online on my BirdBook page.
Last weekend was the last weekend of the Mudgee Wine and Food Festival held this time each year. Friends living in Mudgee invited us to share the experience with them, so off we went for a wonderful weekend of wine, food and fellowship, where both my wife and I experienced some most enjoyable wineries and their fruits. On the way over the Great Dividing Range we visited Lake Wallace in the hope of spying the Blue-billed and Musk Ducks which are known to live there and can be the most elusive ducks on the planet. Nankeen (Australian) Kestrel sightings occurred on several occasions during the weekend and I managed to get some lovely flight shots, as the light illuminates the spread tail feathers. Click on photo to enlarge.
The Australian Kestrel or Nankeen Kestrel as it was previously known to most, is one of our smallest falcons, about the same size as the Australian Hobby, and feeds mainly on insects as well as small mammals, birds and reptiles. It is seen hovering high over its prey with rapid wing beats before ascending on it from directly above often catching its victim by surprise. The Australian Kestrel below was sighted at Lake Wallace as we were leaving. It had caught something and was eating it high on a power pole in the distance.
We were not disappointed at Lake Wallace, though human shy as they were, the Blue-billed Ducks swam off immediately they sighted us sighting them. My photos were thus taken from some distance. The breeding male has a bright Blue bill. The female is a grey colour and looks almost identical to a female Musk Duck. The reason why this small freshwater duck is seldom seen is that it spends almost all its life afloat and well away from humans, often in the middle or far side of lakes.
The Musk Duck male has the strange large round protuberance from its neck hanging down which it increases in size when fanning its tail during mating season. The duck gets its name from the musk smell it emits from a gland on its rump. Both the Blue-billed and Musk Ducks share similar characteristics: spend most of their life afloat, sleep afloat, swim very low in the water, have tails that fan to impress their mates, shy of humans, both are diving ducks, eat similar food, stay in family groups. The female Musk Duck has a much smaller protuberance, see below. It is not an easy duck to photograph.
Another pleasant surprise was the discovery of this pair of Hoary-headed Grebe an inland grebe which we seldom see. It gets its name from its streaky hair-do.
On the grass we spotted a small flock of Yellow-rumped Thornbill foraging for grass seed and insects. These small birds are mainly insectivorous but will eat seed, and since it is drought insects are not as plentiful.
Small flocks of Yellow-faced Honeyeater flew in and out of trees by the lake with amazing synchronization.
We drove the last leg of the 3.5 hour journey to Mudgee where we were greeted by our friends. Later we made our way to the Putta Bucca Wetlands on the Cudgegong River, but were disappointed as the drought had affected bird numbers here also. Our attention was first drawn to the whistle of the Whistling Kite which was resting on dead tree. The bird soon left after spotting us near the bird hide.
Our most interesting find was this only pair of Australasian Shovelers cruising in the distance. The more colourful male leads the female.
Australasian Shoveler male
Australasian Shoveler pair
Australasian Shoveler pair
Australasian Shoveler pair
Australasian Shoveler female
A pair of Black-winged Stilts were also present.
There were many passerines also in the trees around the wetlands including the main honeyeater found out here, the tiny White-plumed Honeyeater. The white plume is quite distinctive on the side of its neck. These are quite playful birds and are often chasing each other and showing affection to each other, strangely enough often in groups of three.
A most delightful observation was of this loving pair of Red-browed Finch, only just visible through a small clearing in the dense tree foliage as the sun lit their faces up for me to capture these shots. Remember it is Spring here so birds are busy pairing off.
Red-browed Finch pair
Red-browed Finch pair
Red-browed Finch pair
The Red Wattlebird, one of Australia’s largest honeyeaters, made his appearance , but you usually hear its ‘choc choc’ (choking sound) before you see it.
Here’s the call of the red Wattlebird…
This Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike watched us as we left the wetlands area.
The long dry winter following a very hot dry summer has had its toll on our state’s animals, birds and trees. Our farmers are suffering as are their livestock and crops, We have had some rain but not drought breaking rains. When you travel over the Great Divide you get to see how dry it really is. Despite the dry the Golden Wattle blooms in all its glory. It is interesting how we do not notice which trees are wattle as they all look green but when they all flower together in Spring one realises just how many there are. This particular tree at the wetlands caught our attention as every inch of the tree was covered with blossom.
The overall glory of the tree in blossom is due to millions of tiny blossom balls.
This highlights the fact that people notice, remember and favour us when we bloom and shine forth in our encounters and relationships with others, even those we have only met once. My experience has been that God’s favour rests on those who exude joy and loving interest in the people that cross their path. Sometimes its a smile, or a word of appreciating and encouragement, people remember you, even if they do not know your name. This impact is like the blooming wattle, the more we all do this, the brighter the place will become. I once heard the testimony of a Suicide Assist trainer how he smiled at a passing man and it saved his life, as he was on his way to die. This man years later, attended the Suicide Assist course and when asked by the instructor (who did not know or recognise him) in front of the class “Why are you doing this course?” He answered: “Because this man here smiled at me and gave me hope when I had none, as I was on my way to act our my suicide plan.” WOW! We can all make a difference and it costs nothing to do, in fact it strengthens our immune system and makes us healthy people in all aspects of our being.
“Do everything in love.” – 1 Corinthians 14:16
Have a wonderful week! I have been asked to stay on for another month at my work part time, after a two week vacation. God is good!
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On the Anzac Day Holiday my wife and I left early with a batch of fresh Anzac Biscuits for a drive up into the Southern Highlands to Barren Grounds National Park, home of two of Australia’s most elusive and endangered bird species, the Eastern Ground Parrot and the Eastern Bristlebird. Some of you know I have featured the Bristlebird on previous blogs in past years, including its youngsters, but in all our visits to this important heathland habitat, have never sighted the Ground Parrot. The comforting thought is that most birders have come away disappointed also, and very few have ever had the gift of seeing this bird, and even less of capturing a clear image. Both birds live on the ground beneath the heathland and are very very human shy and the Ground Parrot is usually only seen as a bright green blur streaking away when it is flushed out of the low lying heathland scrub, as it rapidly goes for cover. Jervis Bay National Park is the only other place these birds are known to be found. After a couple of hours searching we found one Bristlebird, but not on the ground where we usually find them, this one was sitting in a low lying bush. The Bristlebird gets its name from the small strong bristles below its beak which are only noticeable on close inspection. Click on photos to enlarge them.
We set out on the Lookout Walk which gave extensive views across the Illawarra Valley and coast.
On our walk we noticed the prevalence of several winter birds mainly the Yellow-faced Honeyeater was in numerous small flocks, constantly moving through.
Next numerous were the Eastern Spinebill, one of my favourite honeyeaters, and so beautiful in the sunlight.
I have never seen so many Red Wattlebirds in one place in such a large flock, also an occasional Little Wattlebird. These birds are also honeyeaters.
The New Holland Honeyeater is also in large number here, flitting about from tree to tree.
I managed only to get one shot of the rarer White-faced Honeyeater and the not so rare Lewin’s Honeyeater
How come so many birds here on the highland heathlands at a time when birds are usually much less on the coast? What are they eating for food, as many of the flowers will not appear till early Spring? There are several spring flowers flowering very early here as well as the usual Bottlebrush, flowering gum, Boronia and also a flowering Grass Tree, attracting birds and bees to its tasty nectar. The Barren Grounds Wattle is even flowering at present!
Very early Wattle
Flowering Grass Tree
Flowering Grass Tree
Eastern Spinebill drinking from Banksia
Very early Boronia
Early Tea Tree
Of course we always see the Eastern Yellow Robyn when we visit here, with his curious observation of us watching him. There are a number of ‘Eastern’ prefixes to these birds, as they are found only in this part of Australia, along the eastern coast. The Robin is mainly insectivorous. The honeyeaters are also, but they are healthier with a diet of nectar included.
After our morning tea with Anzac bickies and coffee on a bench in among the trees, we saw a juvenile Eastern Crimson Rosella. Yes another Eastern!
After a chat with some other visiting birders we met there, and accepting that we would not see the Ground Parrot on this occasion, we drove back down the windy mountain road to Jamberoo and the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre, one of the major sellers of my book, and home to many Superb Lyrebird. It was encouraging to see my display looking so good, and the continuous video I made was playing.
Disply at Minnamurra
We did the rainforest walk loop before lunch and during lunch this male Lyrebird decided to dig two feet away from our table. I want you to look carefully at this video and tell me if you can tell me what is abnormal about this bird.
Notice also the beautiful lace like fibers of the tail. These are spread over his head when he performs his courting dance, a dance he practices daily from a young age.
By now we were quite tired having left early in the morning and walked for so long. We left satisfied that we had an enjoyable time in the warm not so hot autumn sun exploring this important bird habitat, though the Ground Parrot remains on our ‘bucket list.’
The point of interest inspiring thought arising from the day, was this male Lyrebird. Looking at him from a profile perspective, he looks quite normal and our attention is turned more to the birds whole body and digging action, however, when he walks away and we see him from the rear we notice he only has one set of tail plumage and not two. This is important when he spreads his tail over his head, it would also make his walk a little unbalanced. We don’t know why his is missing the second tail section but it does not make him any less of a Superb Lyrebird. This is the same for each of us when people view us and our actions, We are all ‘broken’ people in some way or other but we hide it from the world by the perspective we allow others to see. It takes a lot of courage to allow our vulnerability for others to see and view the real you, where you can share your weaknesses and shortcomings without fear or shame or pride obstruction. This can be not only healing for you but for those you share with, as it gives opportunity for others to open up and share burdens they may have been carrying for many years, but never felt safe to share.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. ” – Psalm 139:23,24 (NIV)
Last weekend we drove to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, part of the Great Dividing Range, and home of some of Australia’s most stunning mountain and valley scenery, for my wife’s favorite birthday celebration tradition. The blue haze over the mountains is due to the eucalyptus oil vapor from the millions of eucalypt trees of various species. This oil also makes the forests very vulnerable and volatile to bush fire, which can rapidly devastate these pristine forests. One of the highlights is the view at Echo Point over the massive Jamison Valley of the famous rock formation called the Three Sisters after an aboriginal legend. My book is sold at the Tourist Information Centre here.
The Three Sisters at Echo Point, Katoomba NSW
Standing on the various lookouts and waterfall vistas in the mountains, bird sounds can be heard, and flocks of birds fly over, including the Yellow-tail Black Cockatoo, which is currently feeding on the native Casuarina and introduced pine cones and Banksia cones. It is always a race to the camera when we hear the classic call of this bird loudly over the town.
Yellow-tail Black Cockatoo
While we were exploring the Valley of the Waters, where numerous waterfalls plummet into the valley from all directions, we saw canyoners coming down through Empress Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls here. We actually saw this same group a short time earlier up on top plunging and disappearing into the Empress Canyon which flows into the Empress Falls. We had climbed down to the bottom of the falls where they emerged.
Before our walk we had birthday cake and coffee under the trees near the Conservation Hut, where my step daughter sighted this White-browed Scrubwren, of which only one photo was taken as she sighted a female Superb Lyrebird almost immediately after.
The Lyrebird appeared relatively tame and use to visitors to the Hut, and appeared to be a young bird of only a couple of years old. The female does not have the fancy tail plumage seen in the male, and the rufous neck coloring remains a feature of the bird, whereas the males loose this after their fourth year. After some pursuit it easily mounted the fence and disappeared down the cliff side.
AS we walked down to the Valley of the Waters we came across this Eastern Crimson Rosella feeding on forest fruit, a common sight in the mountains.
This New Holland Honeyeater was also seen along the track.
New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater
One bird which is always a feature here is the Eastern Spinebill, which I have showcased from up here on many occasions. This bird with its long curved beak is able to reach down into tubular flowers such as the native Mountain Devil to extract yummy nectar. The two flowers which feed this bird during the winter months are the Mountain Devil and the Banksia species.
Because of the drought and extraordinary extended heat of autumn, breaking all records, bird numbers were low and new young bird numbers reduced. Though after our walk, as we had lunch at the Conservation Hut, we saw this beautiful male Grey Shrike-thrush, quite tame, sitting on a railing watching the outdoor tables. This bird has a beautiful song, and is known to be curious of humans coming quite close to watch them, having a classic head tilt on observation. mature because of dark beak and male because of white lores.
One of the features we enjoyed in various parts of the mountains was the beautiful warble of the Eastern Magpie. These birds will sit for hours on a branch communicating to other magpies nearby with their melodious warble. In scientific studies it has been noted that the Australian Magpie has one of the most complex and amazing calls of any bird being able to move between two octaves in a less than a second. Watch his throat move as he warbles.
Male Eastern Black-backed Magpie
Male Eastern Black-backed Magpie
Saturday night we had a lovely meal and stayed at the Three Sisters Motel. Early in the morning as the sun rose we all headed down to Echo Point to see the view.
As we walked back around the cliff face we saw many Grey Fantails flashing about catching insects on the fly, but found them difficult to photograph due to poor light and positioning.
I could show you the sunrise on the sandstone walls, but it is better if you come and see it for yourself, and let me show you around. Walking back to the motel we saw these two juvenile King Parrots feeding quietly by the footpath. Immature parrots, like many birds resemble the female till they reach maturity.
This Eastern Crimson Rosella was also feeding in the same tree with them.
I forgot to mention this Grey Butcherbird was the first beautiful bird song we heard as we awoke. This bird is my morning joy where I live also, always singing to me each morning, and enjoying our bird bath. Though our dear dog has passed, we leave her water bowl for this bird as he likes to use it if the bird bath gets emptied by the larger Magpies. This bird gets its name from hanging its victims in the forks of trees or on branch spikes till it is ready to eat them, like a butcher in a meat shop. There song is beautiful, and the song of their more violent Pied cousins even more beautiful, though they are found more further north from the mid-north coast upward.
In our search for the male Lyrebird at our usual spot, we were disappointed, possibly too many tourists were present. We did see this Yellow-faced Honeyeater before we left. Flocks of this bird were continually flying through the valley. This is a commonly seen winter and summer bird.
The last bird I caught before leaving the valley, and checking out my book in the Blackheath National Parks Visitor Centre, was this White-throated Treecreeper, creeping up this eucalypt in bright sunlight. This is unusual, as they prefer to climb the shaded side of the tree usually, but gave me an over exposed view of this female (note the orange spot on her face). This bird climbs the tree making its classic repatative cheep call as it checks beneath bark and in crevices of trunk and branches for insects.
A most enjoyable weekend had by all, so we made our way home back down the mountain to coast and Sydney. Our leg muscles ached for a few days after the strenuous mountain climbing, but we felt so much stronger and better for the weekend in the mountain air. Like the Treecreeper creeping ever upward, we seek the highest point of our lives to give them meaning and a sense of achievement. For many we can not highlight any particular time when this occurred, if it ever did. For some it occurs when they step courageously out of their comfort zone and take the risk of caring and loving and showing compassion beyond the norm of selfish, mundane human existence. To love with unconditional love, expecting nothing in return, but only to know the joy of having been the hands and feet of Jesus, by helping another come to a better place, this is the most blessed attainment in life. Reaching into the lives of people forgotten, broken and disgraced by our society and extending the hand and the heart of their Father God to them. This is the greatest delight and joy one can know.
“Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!.” – Psalm 103:1-5 (NEV)
Last weekend we flew up to Port Macquarie to visit my daughter and family, and to have a restful Easter weekend by the Hastings River. We always love to visit Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, a place where my wife and I have fond memories when courting. We took my daughter and grandson Jesse along though little Pippa was sick and her daddy stayed at home with her. On arrival my grandson soon found that Pa’s book was quite visible with its bright blue cover. This was one of the first places to sell my book, and they sell very well here.
It is actually a declared NSW National Park and houses some of the last remaining subtropical coastal rainforest, with extensive elevated boardwalks for easy access, and very good cafe where we later celebrated my daughter and wife’s birthday with lunch. However, the long dry and very hot summer has had its toll on the usually lush green forest. Click on photo to enlarge it.
Strangler fig around tree by road
One of the first birds one might see in coastal rainforest due to its year round territorial presence making it predictably discoverable, along with its curious nature, is the Eastern Yellow Robin. Yes, and it was the first bird we saw there. This insectivorous robin will sometimes follow or lead you down the track.
We were amazed as we walked along the boardwalk, how quiet it was, as we were accustomed to hearing the constant sound of bird song from many species, but now, just an occasional sound, it was just too dry, and there was little native fruit present. We were occasionally excited when we heard the sound of the elusive Green Catbird, but never saw it, though it would have seen us. I did record its sound for you.
One of the few birds we did see was this immature Grey Butcherbird which sat on the side wire and allowed us to get very close, as it had not yet developed fear of our presence.
This was a great opportunity to teach my grandson about the forest and birds, and highly recommend you grandparents do the same, as we need to show them there is a beautiful world outside of their technology devices. One bird which brought a moment of excitement was the very fast moving Crested Shrike-tit, a true rainforest bird though small, uses its powerful small beak to dislodge bark from trees to uncover underlying insects and grubs. You discover this usually quiet bird by the noise of falling bark. I was only able to get a few pics before it saw us and left.
Probably the most heard bird in the forest the whole time we were there was Lewins Honeyeater, a classic rainforest honeyeater for the east coast of Australia. Its
The White-throated Treecreeper is another bird often difficult to spot as it climbes the tree trunk on the dark side under the canopy. This is a female (see the orange spot on face). It makes it call as it climbs the tree in search of insects.
The last birds we heard and saw was the Satin Bowerbird male and female high in the tall tree canopy, but it was difficult to photograph them, only a female was clearly visible.
Female Satin Bowerbird
Female Satin Bowerbird
You will often hear the scratching of the Australian Brush Turkey as it lifts the lesaf litter in search of insects, in a similar way to the lyrebird which sadly was not found in this forest area. This female was actauly well adapted to searching through the bags of picnicers in the beach nearby while unattended.
After lunch I wanted to show Jesse the huge Lace Monitor goannas that haunt the picnic ground down on Shelly Beach (part of the national park), but they were not present. This is what we had seen the day before.
Lace Monitor head
This family of monitors was checking out the picnic of a family of humans who were watching with feet up on chairs as they checked for any food scraps. These goannas are notorious for robbing picnic tables while no one is watching.
The Little Wattlebird is common find in the coastal forest, we saw this one in the back yard of my daughters new home.
As we left the park we spied these rainforest birds high up in a huge eucalypt tree some distance way, and they seemed quite curious to us, as to what these two bird species were doing. The common Rainbow Lorikeet were checking out the not so common Scaly-breasted Lorikeets who just happened to be in the neighborhood.
Rainbow and Scaly-breasted
Rainbow and Scaly-breasted
Rainbows in flight
We stayed at a boutique resort by the river, where we saw many waterbirds. We also saw this Brown Honeyeater enjoying nectar from the beautiful Bird of Paradise flower by the pool. You can see here how the curved beak assists in getting deep into the flower base to retrieve nectar.
My wife enjoyed the pool on the unusually hot autumn days, I soon learned that I needed to have my camera ready by the pool as bird stuff was going down all the time we were there. The most notable bird activity was the noise flock of Little Corella moving too and fro across the bay, feeding from pine cones and grass seed.
Every so often there would be a sudden flurry and cry of the flock as they flew all over the sky. I thought ‘look up, must be raptor in sight’, and sure enough this Brahminy Kite was doing the rounds, but was against the sun and a fair way up so my shots are bot pristine.
The comical Australian Pelican was doing its preening from the top of the lamp post, which is a common site here at Port. Lo and behold, should your car be parked beneath such a post, you would not believe what these birds could do to your car when they defecate.
While all this drama is taking place, this lone White-faced Heron fishes quietly along the shores. We saw it in the same area each day.
Each day after everyone had finished using the swimming pool this pair of Australian Wood Duck came flying in and felt quite at home swimming in the pool and camping beside it for the night. The male has the dark brown head.
The last birds we saw as we drove to the airport to fly home after a wonderful weekend away, was this small flock of Straw-necked Ibis working this grassy paddock.
One of the features of the Port coastline is the many small rock islands and formations along the many beaches, and this large rock seemed to host hundreds of gulls and terns. What makes one rock more homely than another? Maybe its the company of others…
These rocks receive a constant buffeting from the ocean, which caused me to ponder the following as I watched the waves crash…
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (NLT)
“Give all your worries and cares to God, forhecares about you.” – 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
Have a wonderful week exploring this amazing planet of ours. Check out my website for more birding information and helpful hints.