Lockdown walk No. 8: Enjoying the birds by Colleen Keating




Enjoying the birds

I believe all the birds have their individual spirits, their own individul energy their own power.  It  is there for the sharing with us if we are open to it as gift.

I speak to the birds and now I find Michael and I are both talking away to them. . Today I pointed out a kookaburra to a  lady  out walking  and she started chatting  to it. . It made me smile. We are not the only ones talking to the birds.

I even find the willy wag tales chatting back to us . . . .

Take the time to listen . Let then speak to you .

“Speak to the earth and it will  speak to you ”   Elaine Mitchell

We have discovered a track that hugs the lake avoiding  the main pathway which is a jogging track, a bike track  and on the weekends like Pitt Street . It is through a swampoak forest and easy while the days are dry.  With the slightest breeze the She Oaks sing and the whip birds whistle to each other and the constant chirping of the busy wrens  are there and if we stop and concentrate we can catch them darting about . . . the fairy blue wren and the little brown  female  wren.



Willy-wag tales are often with us. They seem to  leave and catch up again or are they a different families? They feel very familair as if they take up their conversation where they left of a bit earlier.

Then looking out to the lake are the Black Swans returned.  I remember one winter in 2013 the first time I saw  the black swans here on our side of Tuggerah Lake it seemed a very rare event and I  observed for the next few days wrote a poem called  a black swan event which is publihed in A Call to Listen  publishe 2014 by Ginninderra Press.

The White-faced heron .  I go back to visit their places they like  –the rock pools on the rockshelf, and in the small creeks near Tuggerah Lake , and along the littoral shore of the Lake. Love my reflection of the two herons in Saltmarsh Creek up on the restored reserved bird santuary.


The busy family of spoonbills wading along in the sea grass  sifting for crustaceans and teal blue crested  ducks like hand maidens waiting for the left overs

and the many shining white elegant  egrets, princesses  of the lake while they stand perusing thier lake world. Here they are in sunset light and morning freshness.  I love the  awkward  disjointed flying  machine when become when they take off




There are the humble doves eating along the ground,  There are lots of magpies but I could write a whole blog about them. The mudlarks are all around.  The rainbow lorikeets feed and play  in the Banksia trees . There are the masked winged plovers and the black -tailed godwit which my Grandson Cammie identified for me but that will come in a special feature  on the saltmarsh Reserse.   There are the sea gulls  and the beloved pelicans.



the day was slowing
time came to rest

the still silent lake held the clouds
grey-blue haze enfolded everything

earth and sky were one
calm presided

reachied out as far as the eye’s gaze
everything was suffused in blue

luminous as the watagan hills
a pile on pile of tones

mirrored in the lake
you could feel them all around you

like a generous hug
nothing protruded

trees rocks sand bars and islands
had forgotten themselves in the blue daze

suddenly a harsh flutter
the lake surface split

a huge cormorant flew from inside
struck up into the air

its ragged black wings
it long snake-neck

its awkward shape
like an eruption from the underworld

against the finely woven lake
its strange form fluttered

gleamed in absolute black
lifted off pierced the air

like a plumed arrow its shadow
crinkling the once still lake

by Colleen Keating