Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Can you remember when you first became interested in birds?

Grandson #1, Ethan, has discovered the world of birds. As a result of his one Christmas wish, he received a full size copy of Morcombe for Christmas and has read it many times. This meant he could return the local library's copy which he had on permanent loan. They had his phone number if it was needed. His knowledge is fantastic for an eleven year old, especially as he did not have a pair of binoculars. Well, that was easily remedied a week ago when I visited the mob in Mullumbimby, picking Ethan up in Sydney then spending two days catching up the rest of the family on the way home = birdwatching without pesky, non-interested brothers in tow.

First stop was Ash Island at Newcastle. First bird seen through the new bins?? An Australian Raven. But we did see a Brown Falcon, Whistling Kite and Swamp Harrier in the same field of view!! Followed quickly by a Black-shouldered Kite. He loves all the birds but especially raptors. Oh, and Rosellas.

Lunch the next day at Nambucca Heads saw a Brown Honeyeater and a tagged Beach Stone-curlew then we caught up with the family at Lake Arragan in Yuraygir NP where we camped for the night. This time it was a White-bellied Sea-eagle and an Osprey in the same field of view!! Plus 3 minutes of full frontal Red-backed Fairy-wren [no camera of course -- we were coming back from an early morning wander], a White-cheeked Honeyeater and a Varied Triller. We ended up having no time to see the Alberts Lyrebird in the Mt Jerusalem NP where they live behind Mullumbimby.

I didn't get the camera out much. Too much to do just birding with an enthusiast! Here are some pics.

White-cheeked Honeyeater
Varied Triller
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Forgot. A Brahminy Kite too!
Brown Honeyeater, Nambucca Heads
Beach Stone-curlew, Nambucca Heads
Magic. f6.3 and be there!


  1. There's nothing like the excitement of seeing a bird for the first time or seeing someone else seeing one for the first time!
    My Dad has a great knowledge of birds and when I was about 9 he would often take me out birding on our farm in WA's wheatbelt which had a large patch of Banksia woodland and saltmarshes. I would often be pouring over his copies of Peter Slater's Field Guide to Australian Birds (Passerines and Non-passerines).
    When I received my own copy of Slater's Australian Bird Notebook when I was 10 I think I reached the point where I was starting to get addicted and would spend hours walking our farm listing birds.
    My own daughter who is 7 is showing these signs now. She has her own bird book and I just purchased a set of cheap binoculars for her but I she hasn't reached that addicted stage yet.
    I get so much joy when she sees a bird for the first time. It's a pity more people like yourself don't get their kids or grandkids out into nature.

  2. Nicely framed shot of the White-cheeked Honeyeater.

    I have good birding memories going back to age four but became seriously interested at age 12. My bird guide at the time was "What Bird Is That?" by Neville W Cayley.

  3. I can't remember when I was first interested in birds. A long time ago but, believe it or not, I only joined Birdlife 6 months ago. Grandparents had a farm in the western District and I loved going there. Wedgies nesting in the "big tree over the creek next to the railway line that still ran steam trains" is still a highlight. Plus a 10,000+ flock of budgies there one spring. Should have done joined many ages prior. Onto third or fourth set of bins and have worn out a S&D. I suspect 1) Apple with the Morcombe app and 2) retirement meant time available ... as you can see from the blog.