Rain seems to be the essence of springtime this year in Beechmont. After an early dry start, the almost continuous rain and showers have conjured up carpets of pinkish new raspy fern fronds, a flush of tender bright green leaves in the rainforest (and many blushing new reddish leaves too), baby wallabies, wandering koalas, a chorus of frogs at dusk, the new season’s cicada songs, and a flurry of bird activity.
Magpies are feeding clumsy youngsters. Yellow-tailed black-cockatoos are raiding the tall banksias in our backyard, along with their wailing teenage malcontents (or at least they sound malcontent). Wonga pigeons are cooing incessantly and carrying sticks in their beaks. And, most delightfully, yellow-fronted scrubwrens are building their mossy hanging-nests.
Last week we watched two different pairs of scrubwrens, each building a nest in a spindly sapling, alongside the boardwalk at O’Reilly’s in Lamington National Park. Are these birds just very used to humans, or does the proximity of people offer some protection from predators? Or both?
We also had the tremendous good fortune to see an Albert’s Lyrebird up close, and watch it sing (of course we were listening too, but it is rare to get such a good look at these secretive birds).
If you’d like to learn more about nature journaling, I am running one more workshop before the year’s end. It’s a full day workshop in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, next Friday 1st December 2017 and there are still a few places left. This workshop is part of the Ecological Society of Australia’s annual conference. Even if you are not attending the conference, you are still welcome to come along to the workshop. But you will need to book a place via this website by the end of tomorrow (Friday 24th November).
Happy springtime (or autumn) wherever you may be!