Living postcard – Summers end walking on Darug Country February 2022
A living postcard to revisit animal and plant encounters from summers end
There certainly was a lot of rain during the last month in summers end walking on Darug Country in Sydney. It was so interesting to encounter animals during the wet – especially as there were some I had not seen previously. Let me introduce them to you below.
Birds all through the forest
I began to notice as the weather cooled down a little, particularly in the mornings that there was a flurry of activity in the forest. It is exciting to walk through the forest and gaze up to see such a delightful variety of birds.
It got me thinking as I noticed this, why would that be? Birds are generally more active in the morning hours and they do like to source water. This is particularly after the rain, when droplets form on the leaves. This makes it easy to drink as needed. The rain also brings out the insects too, and this is good for insect eating birds. Its almost like the birds are having a party in the forest right there with you.
Superb fairy wrens form family groups. I quite often observe one male brightly coloured wren flitting with a group of the female jenny wrens. There may be some young males amongst the jennys as they all have light brown colouring. It is delightful to watch them play and forage as they feed on insects. I spot them close to the local pond amongst the reeds regularly.
The Laughing Kookaburras are an iconic Australian bird. Often seen up on branches, this gives them an opprtunity to swoop down on their prey below. I enjoy listening to their laughing call. This young kookaburra had taken the opportunity to sun on a branch – after a lot of rainy days. An opportune time to catch some food whilst their prey are out from sheltering from days of downpours.
The distinctive yellow ear patches of this bird, make it easier to spot them on my early morning walks. Whilst they do predominantly feed on fruits they can feed on insects too. It was only after I had noticed whilst looking at the photo that this bird had an insect in its mouth. They are able to catch flying insects in their beaks.
Common Snake-necked turtle
A lot of heavy rain had fallen over a few days. I made a small walk down the hill to see what was happening in the bush. The path had a lot of water on it. There in front of me was this Common Snake-necked turtle, stationery and very observant. I believe that it had tried to find some drier ground as the water had been running fast in the adjacent pond. I learnt a lot as I watched its head upright and alert. I felt its presence and after watching for a short time I returned back off the track and headed back home. I wanted it to feel safe after being disturbed from its home.
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