Winter wonders

While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.

-Tom Allen

Do you like winter? I do. I find it a comfortable time of year, as long as I have warm clothing on. I like to walk without sweating and watch birds without fearing that the sun is damaging my skin.

Mind you, I do live in a temperate climate and our winter days are sometimes as warm as 23oC. And our winter nights seldom approach 0oC. What this means is that I can stand outside for hours watching birds and my fingers are still warm enough and flexible enough to operate the camera controls.

Many people think that they have to wait for spring to see baby birds. Not so! Some baby birds are around at the end of winter. Last week I went for a drive and spotted an exquisite juvenile black-shouldered kite. I’ve put a photo of it at the top of this post. It had already left its nest and was sitting patiently on a power line until a kookaburra scared it off. I’ve put a photo of an adult black-shouldered kite below, so you can compare them.

Last week, I heard baby rainbow lorikeets in our gum trees. They sound like a squeaky gate. I went outside and saw three of them snuggled up together on a high branch.

And that’s not all. While I was looking at the baby rainbow lorikeets, I noticed a pair of galahs checking out our rosella nesting box. As I watched, they started to line it with leaves. They’ve been there every day since, even on Saturday, which was tremendously windy.

As I discovered each new baby bird and each pair of breeding adults, I remembered that winter IS full of life, if you just look and listen for it.

Australian daytime birds of prey

Australian parrots

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