All those cans of beans that we ate to sustain us would be worth it once we saw the birds of Mt. Lewis!
|The hills calling our names|
Not too long afterward we spied some birdwatchers enjoying some Thornbills and Gerygones of their own. Out we got; introductions were made, battle plans laid out. Joy of the time and space expressed, and with it, espousal of the glory of the natural world. Many generations older then us, our 3 new companions nevertheless shared our passion for our feathered friends, and showed to be be young at heart.
All was good with the world until about 500 meters farther along the road. In its endless fury across the land, the wind had wrapped a young but promising tree in its fluid grasps and cast it across our path.
If we had been alone that would have been the end. We carried neither axe nor saw, and would have left before we had even begun. Thankfully, our new friend John, with his elderly wisdom had a small hatchet and modest hacksaw in his jeep.
Wielding the hatchet, I tore into the tree with a great fury, not to be denied the joys that the mountain offered. Limb by limb the road cleared. All took turns hacking, sawing and dragging away. Pretty soon, what looked like an impassable barrier opened up. Experience combined with youthful energy had done it. We were able to pass, though slightly more sweaty and that much more determined!
As we made our way up, we began to pass little grass clearings in the forest, the home of the Blue-faced Parrot-Finch. Ever watchful, we saw many finches, but of the Red-browed variety. With John's group pushing on ahead, I saw a green flash but couldn't stay on it. Surely a our query, but we would have to continue on. Not much longer and in a much wider clearing we got our birds. Flitting through the grass they were a delight for our road weary eyes.
But I digress, this is about birds not leeches right? So we continued along hoping we'd get a Golden Bowerbird, the crown endemic of the land. Alas it was not to be. Our best efforts would not suffice this day.
Back at Kingfisher Park, we decided to stake out the little stream in hopes of seeing one of Australia's most enigmatic creatures, the Platypus. It started off well, with many birds coming to drink at the stream, a Pied Monarch feeding its young, and a Thick-billed Gerygone nest overhanging the water. However, we were soon beset by mosquitoes, and no matter how hard we tried to cover up, they found a way to feast on our flesh. After too long waiting, we gave up. No Platypus, only the lingering sting of mosquitoes and defeat.
|Pied Monarch performing some acrobatics|