Bright and happy

On Wednesday my psychologist asked me to close my eyes and think of a time where I had felt fulfilled or satisfed. Turned out the strongest memory that came to me was of going out searching for birds, finding one and getting a good photograph. So I’ve been doing some reminiscing.

Bright in autumn. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, years in fact. I have memories of the fabulous oranges, browns, reds and yellows of the deciduous trees shining in the yellow sun and the fresh, crisp mountain air.

red japanese maple leaves, sunshine, autumn

Gorgeous autumn Japanese maple leaves in the afternoon sunshine

autumn leaves

Autumn leaves that look like they are on fire!

We went up to Bright for a long weekend in mid May just as the autumn colours were looking so glorious in the city. Being higher up in altitude, the trees in Bright were further along in their seasonal shedding but still beautiful. There were the thick carpets of leaves that I remembered, enough to kick up as you walk along. I wished I was still a kid so I could build giant piles of leave and jump into them!

yellow, orange, brown, autumn leaves

Stunning yellows and oranges of the autumn leaves at Bright

A beautiful weekend with friends and great opportunities for bush walking and bird watching.

superb blue wren, Yea wetlands, green grass, blue wren

A flitting male superb blue wren in the Yea Wetlands

red-browed finch, yea wetlands

Hard to chase down and capture! Red-browed finch in the Yea wetlands

After riding Saturday morning, my awesome hubby took me for a walk along the bike path to where they’d seen some cool birds. A beautiful walk along the river and lots of beautiful birds.

female superb blue wren, blackberries, brown and fluffy

Female superb blue wren flitting through the blackberry bushes

male scarlet robin, bright red, black and white

Fabulous male Scarlet Robin, hard to capture!

And it turns out that I got one of my bucket list photos without realising it!! Immature gang gang cockatoo – I was looking for the pink but this young one is just grey all over.

gang gang cockatoo, black, high in the sky

Immature gang gang cockatoo that we spotted above the path

The next afternoon we went for a walk together and there were so many parrots!! Everywhere!

immature eastern rosella, green, camoflaged

Beautiful immature Eastern Rosella in a tree next to the holiday house

crimson rosella, tree, cheeky

Gorgeous Crimson rosella taking a peek through the branches

crimson rosellas, chimney

Crimson rosellas hanging out on an old chimney in town

pink galah

Grooming pink galah

king parrot, autumn leaves, red, yellow, green

Striking male King parrot amongst the autumn leaves

female king parrot, tree

Lovely green-headed female King parrot

And other birds too!

laughing kookaburra, tree, branch

Laughing kookaburra taking in the river views

magpie, grass

Strutting black and white magpie

I’ve gotta remember the joy and satisfaction that this hobby gives me, so that on those days when I feel exhausted and unable to bother with much I can go out and get me some fulfillment and joy! Or at least look back at my previous bird walks and remember that satisfaction.

Turns out I had no idea of how important the fulfillment of my job was to me. Being able to help people, giving answers to other health professionals, taking a history that changed the course of a patient’s medical treatment, being a pivotal part of patient care. When I lost that, it actually did affect how I saw myself.

Suddenly I was at home all day, and any woman will tell you that completing the washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking etc may give some small satisfaction, but it isn’t that fulfilling; anyone can do it! There’s no special skill, unless you’re a real domestic goddess and can whip up amazing meals. Washing, ironing and cleaning are all pretty standard.

So having a skill at finding, identifying and photographing birds has given me a sense of satisfaction, fulfillment at using a skill and happiness at the beautiful birds and surroundings that I’ve found along the way.

It’s a small thing but turns out it’s important to me 🙂

Ducks, ducks, ducks

All my life I’ve been interested in ducks. Then one birthday I got a batch of ducklings and a new era began. I watered my ducks, fed them, took them for walks, supervised sitting mothers, disposed of rotten eggs, shooed them into their pen at night, shooed them into the channel for swims and watched over the baby ducklings like a mother.

I kept muscovy ducks and khaki campbell ducks. When I left home for the city to study I had to leave them behind and eventually they dwindled down to zero. But I still want to keep them again one day. And I’m always looking out for ducks wherever I go.

Luckily where I live now there is a park with lots of ducks. Pacific black ducks, Australian wood ducks and one Australian grey teal duck.

Pacific black duck

black duck, river, stones

Pacific black duck down by the river

Australian wood duck

wood ducks, green grass, path

Male and female pair of Australian wood ducks

australian wood duck, lake, flying

My favourite flying sequence of Autralian wood ducks on the lake!

Australian grey teal

grey teal duck, lake, grass

Australian grey teal duck at the zoo

These are the common types of ducks that you’re likely to see around all about.

Then there are some really cool types of ducks, that you have to put effort into looking for. Luckily for me, a bunch of them make their home in the Japanese garden at the zoo and I was able to see them yesterday and grab a few snaps.

Australian shelduck

australian shelduck, pair, zoo, grass, lake

Australian shelduck male and female pair

australian shelduck, grass, bushes, lake

Pair of Australian shelducks, female in front

Chestnut teal

chestnut teal, grass, lake

Male chestnut teals

 Hardhead duck

hardhead duck. rocks, lake

Male hardhead duck

Plumed whistling duck

whistling ducks, grass, sun

Pair of plumed whistling ducks at the zoo

Lots of fun! There’s another type of duck that we used to go for drives and look for when I was a kid in the winter; the mountain duck. I can’t find it in my field guide so I’ll have to do some more research and find out exactly what type of duck it was.

I’ll get back to you!!