gum tree

the channel-billed cuckoo

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large cuckoo

Spotted this bird on Sydney’s northern beaches at sunset. It is a Channel-billed Cuckoo, a very large bird usually between 60-67 cms with a solid body/chest. It has long wings, long tail and a heavy bill and they like to eat fruit, mainly native figs.. one neighbour has a couple of large native fig trees that most probably attracted them to the area.

When adults they are a blue/grey colour but juveniles are a bit brown. The other one of this pair seemed bluer than this one but it was a little difficult to see exactly as the light was fading and I was on the ground looking up to the top of the tree but it does give you some idea of how solid they look and the distinct red on the bill and around the eyes.

My bird book describes their sound as ‘kork, ork, ork’ and tells me they lay their eggs in the nests of crows, magpies and currawongs where their young are reared alongside the host’s chicks. That must be why my sister said they are often chased by the crows.. the latter probably know what they are up to and don’t like being made the foster parent.


morning glory

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The large mountain under the rainbow is Mount Coramba which is nor-west of Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast. It is 576 metres above sea level and located in the Orara East State Forest. It sits as a sentinel over the coastal strip where most of the residential areas and some farming lands are located.

The area in the front of the photograph is part of Moonee Beach Nature Reserve which is full of banksia trees and she-oaks, the South Pacific Ocean is only a short walk to the east. This rainbow lasted for 20 minutes and grew brighter and brighter, shifting till the small hill became ablaze with light. I started to imagine it was a space ship portal and imagined them running around saying, ‘On no! there’s a glitch and the humans can see us!’

the perfect union

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I love this gum, I found it while wandering in Ku-ring-gai Chase National ParkĀ north of Sydney. It epitomises the perfect union, two complete lives emerging out of a shared base.

a survivor

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Australia’s bushland can be a harsh environment but it has its own beauty and strength. I came upon this gum in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park north of Sydney, Australia’s second oldest National Park. From the blackened, broken branches it was most likely hit by lightning and had its top burnt right off.

It would have been quite old when it caught fire but undaunted by the loss of its limbs the trunk has pushed forth new growth and it is now crowned with green leaves. It may be my imagination but I can definitely see an ‘old man’ face at the base of the trunk.