Thursday, September 15, 2011


Last night I viewed Josh Fox's documentary about America's obsession with gas extraction, and the horrendous fallout from this obsession, Gasland. It was bittersweet, sobering, distressing, fascinating and poetic all at once. It may well be essential viewing for all residents in Bundanoon, Exeter, Sutton Forest & Werai.

LJ, September 15 2011.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I'm no Joseph Banks. However, I've identified - with the help of Burnum Burnum's WILDthings - the following plants flowering in Morton NP:

Dracophyllum secundum
Comesperma ericinum
(Match Heads)
Patersonia sericea (Native Iris)
Pimelea linifolia (Rice Flower)
Boronia floribunda (Pale Pink Boronia)
Dillwynia retorta (Eggs and Bacon)
Isopogon anthifolius (Drumsticks)
Grevillea sericea (Pink Spider Flower)
Hybanthus monopetalus
Pomaderris intermedia

LJ, September 14 2011.


After returning home from a scrumptious lunch at Lauren's Cafe at Penrose, on September 11, I noticed a raucous mob of Sulpher-crested Cockatoos flying above Penrose Rd and a raptor near them. Grabbing my 10x50s, I found the cockies were 'mobbing' a Grey Goshawk. Interestingly, the birds sort of clustered around, or by, the raptor, but didn't make any great aggressive movement, as a collective, at the Goshawk (the odd cockie half-heartedly went for it). On a couple of occassions, the GG was actually in the middle of the flock of cockies and all the birds were sailing along contentedly.

I find this fascinating. I've seen this behaviour before, with a white morph/phase GG, at Lane Cove National Park in Sydney. I think HANZAB (big deal Australian avian handbook) authors and other birders have an inkling that white GGs do this to disguise themselves when approaching potential prey. I had a grey individual - what can this mean? Maybe, it's just birds together, celebrating their freedom. After about ten minutes of interaction, the GG was left alone to soar a long way above Bundanoon's rooftops.

LJ, September 14 2011.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


On Father's Day, I specifically left home to find a Rockwarbler (aka Origma), with my wife and son in tow. Not long after parking at Wishing Well in Morton NP, we ambled down to Beachamp Cliffs and Bonnie View to immerse ourselves in the intoxicating panorama there that can awaken all of us if we allow it.

Two Rockwarblers revealed themselves between BC & BV. One of the pair called incessantly, its fine bill opening wide with each series of shrill yawps. I was stoked - I'd not encountered a Rockwarbler in the Southern Highlands before (although they're around here and there). The bird is a NSW endemic, restricted to sandstone/limestone escarpment country within about 200km of Sydney.

In the late 90s (when I was living briefly on Sydney's North Shore) I found a Rockwarbler asleep under a sandstone overhang near The Sphinx monument in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, whilst I was searching for the unmistakable Red-crowned Toadlet (listed as 'vulnerable' by NSW DEC). My torch beam didn't startle the Rockwarbler. The bird seemed a breathing metaphor for solace.

LJ, September 8 2011