Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crimson Finch

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) by Ian

Crimson Finch featured as bird of the week a little over eight years ago, but I’ve decided to have it again as a pair appeared in my backyard several weeks ago, the first time I’ve seen any in Bluewater.

Shortly earlier, I’d seen what looked like a female Satin Flycatcher having a splash in the pool. Satin Flycatchers are rare in North Queensland, though they do show up sometimes on migration. This one didn’t hang around for a photo while I got the camera, so I headed off around the property looking for it. Female Satin Flycatchers are notorious difficult to separate from their slightly duller cousins, female Leaden Flycatchers, so a photograph is essential not only for identification but also to convince anyone else.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) Female by Ian

I didn’t find the Flycatcher, but I found the Crimson Finches, male in the first photo and female in the second, feeding on some unseasonable Guinea Grass. We’ve had an odd dry season with not much but sufficient rain at intervals to confuse some of the local plants – Guinea Grass usually seeds here at the end of the wet season (April). In North Queensland, Crimson Finches are usually found in dense grassland near wetlands, and these two were only about 50m from Bluewater Creek, which was still running at the time.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) Fledgling by Ian

A couple of weeks later I photographed this very young Crimson Finch at the Townsville Town Common. When I approached, it was being fed by an adult male, who flew off leaving the young bird to its fate. You can see the very pale gape, typical of very young birds. Young Crimson Finches just have a reddish flush in the wings and tail.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) Male by Ian

A few days after seeing the pair of Crimson Finches in the backyard, a male Crimson Finch obligingly appeared beside the pool when I was having a swim. I thought the plumage was more intensely coloured and with strong white spots on the flanks than the male member of the earlier pair – more like the one in the fourth photo. I wondered whether they were different individuals, with the first one being younger than the second. The one in the fourth photo was taken on a trip to the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia in 2009.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) X Star Hybrid by Ian

On that same trip, I photographed this odd-looking individual at Kununurra. We decided that it was a hybrid between a Crimson Finch and a Star Finch, both of which were present at the time and both of which belong to the same genus, Neochmia, which includes two other Australian species: Red-browed and Plum-headed Finches.

I don’t really keep a yard list as such. If I did, the day I found the Crimson Finches would have been notable. Apart from the possible Satin Flycatcher, later that afternoon I flushed a female King Quail. This time I was armed not with the camera but a brush cutter as part of the fire season preparations.

Several weeks later I had the rest of the long grass cut by a man with a tractor. After he had finished, I went down to inspect the result and spotted a Blue-winged Kookaburra pouncing on something in the cut grass. This proved to be the King Quail, which flew off a high speed pursued by the Kookaburra. The Quail landed safely in some long grass and the Kookaburra perched in a nearby tree. If you ever tried to flush a quail a second time, you’ll know how elusive they are on the ground, so I hope the Kookaburra didn’t have quail for lunch.

Greetings
Ian
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His other birds mentioned:

Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda) by Ian

Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda) by Ian

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Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis) by Ian

Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis) by Ian

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Plum-headed Finch (Neochmia modesta) by Ian males

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Lee’s Addition:

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 KJV)

I decided to put a photo of the three other finches mentioned in Ian’s newsletter. They all seem so colorful for a nice Christmas Eve day. Thanks, Ian, for sharing your photos with us and for a Christmas photo present. Trust you eyes are improving. We miss your newsletters.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crimson Finch

pas-estr-crimson-finch-neochmia-phaeton-by-ian-1Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crimson Finch ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 11/10/16

Crimson Finch featured as bird of the week a little over eight years ago, but I’ve decided to have it again as a pair appeared in my backyard several weeks ago, the first time I’ve seen any in Bluewater.

Shortly earlier, I’d seen what looked like a female Satin Flycatcher having a splash in the pool. Satin Flycatchers are rare in North Queensland, though they do show up sometimes on migration. This one didn’t hang around for a photo while I got the camera, so I headed off around the property looking for it. Female Satin Flycatchers are notorious difficult to separate from their slightly duller cousins, female Leaden Flycatchers, so a photograph is essential not only for identification but also to convince anyone else.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) Female by Ian

I didn’t find the Flycatcher, but I found the Crimson Finches, male in the first photo and female in the second, feeding on some unseasonable Guinea Grass. We’ve had an odd dry season with not much but sufficient rain at intervals to confuse some of the local plants – Guinea Grass usually seeds here at the end of the wet season (April). In North Queensland, Crimson Finches are usually found in dense grassland near wetlands, and these two were only about 50m from Bluewater Creek, which was still running at the time.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) Fledgling by Ian

A couple of weeks later I photographed this very young Crimson Finch at the Townsville Town Common. When I approached, it was being fed by an adult male, who flew off leaving the young bird to its fate. You can see the very pale gape, typical of very young birds. Young Crimson Finches just have a reddish flush in the wings and tail.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) Male by Ian

A few days after seeing the pair of Crimson Finches in the backyard, a male Crimson Finch obligingly appeared beside the pool when I was having a swim. I thought the plumage was more intensely coloured and with strong white spots on the flanks than the male member of the earlier pair – more like the one in the fourth photo. I wondered whether they were different individuals, with the first one being younger than the second. The one in the fourth photo was taken on a trip to the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia in 2009.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) X Star Hybrid by Ian

On that same trip, I photographed this odd-looking individual at Kununurra. We decided that it was a hybrid between a Crimson Finch and a Star Finch, both of which were present at the time and both of which belong to the same genus, Neochmia, which includes two other Australian species: Red-browed and Plum-headed Finches.

I don’t really keep a yard list as such. If I did, the day I found the Crimson Finches would have been notable. Apart from the possible Satin Flycatcher, later that afternoon I flushed a female King Quail. This time I was armed not with the camera but a brush cutter as part of the fire season preparations.

Several weeks later I had the rest of the long grass cut by a man with a tractor. After he had finished, I went down to inspect the result and spotted a Blue-winged Kookaburra pouncing on something in the cut grass. This proved to be the King Quail, which flew off at high speed pursued by the Kookaburra. The Quail landed safely in some long grass and the Kookaburra perched in a nearby tree. If you ever tried to flush a quail a second time, you’ll know how elusive they are on the ground, so I hope the Kookaburra didn’t have quail for lunch.

Greetings
Ian


Lee’s Addition:

“Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Mat 13:32 KJV)

Thanks again, Ian for another beautiful avian wonder for us to enjoy. That hybrid is quite interesting also. We have seen the Star Finch before, but this is an interesting mix. Also, glad you are putting these Birds of the Week out again.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Birdway Finch photos

Estrildidae – Waxbills, Munias and allies

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The Owl’s Library – By Emma Foster

Western Barn Owl (Tyto alba) by Daves BirdingPix

Western Barn Owl (Tyto alba) by Daves BirdingPix

The Owl’s Library

By Emma Foster

Once there was an owl who lived in the attic of a library. His name was Leonard and his cousin’s name was Art. One day Leonard received a letter from Art telling him that Art had just published his own book.

Leonard watched people come and go to and from the library every day checking out different kinds of books. Leonard decided that it would be a great idea to have his own library. Then he could watch people check out books every day, and Art’s book could be checked out every day as well.

Leonard had to find some land for sale first. He flew to the library Art lived in, and asked for his help. Art told him how the librarian who owned the library he lived in was retiring and had already put the place up for sale. If Leonard couldn’t buy this library, Art wouldn’t have any place to live.

So Leonard went to the librarian. The librarian, Frank, said that he was going to retire and someone else would have to buy the property because he was in so much debt.
Leonard and Art got together and decided to hold a fundraiser to save the library. They began by posting flyers all over town. The fundraiser would be held that Saturday at the library. Leonard and Art decided that they would have a race to raise money for it. Many people who lived nearby, saw the sign, and decided they would run in the race.

On that Saturday, all the people, including many birds, made their way to the starting line to start running the race. Everyone would run or fly around the entire library and down several streets downtown nearby.

Mixed Flock of birds flying in a V Formation- Put together- ©Creative Commons

Mixed Flock of birds flying in a V Formation- Put together- ©Creative Commons

Art blew the whistle and Leonard watched excitedly s everyone started running as fast as they could. The birds flew up above the buildings to watch everyone run around the library and up the next street. They flew above them to cheer the runners on.

Leonard was excited to see how much money they had raised at the end of the day, so the race seemed to take a really long time. When the first runners ran around the corner to the finish line, Leonard flew after them for the rest if the day.

Barn Owl at Flamingo Gardens by Lee

Barn Owl at Flamingo Gardens by Lee

Everyone cheered when Leonard flew past the finish line with the first runner. When all of the donations were counted up, the total was ten thousand dollars, which was more than enough to keep the library open.

Frank decided that he would still retire, but since Leonard was so excited about keeping the library open, he decided to let Leonard run the library for him when he retired.
Leonard was really happy to run the library, and Art was happy that he would be living in the same library. Every day, Leonard would help people check out books while Art continued to write more books. Both Leonard and Art couldn’t have been happier, especially since they were able to save the library.

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And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28 KJV)

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. (Psalms 104:24 KJV)

Well, Emma has given us another enjoyable story to enjoy. I assume that since Leonard and Art will both be living in the library, they will become even “Wiser Owls.”

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Other Articles by Emma Foster

Wordless Birds

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Jesus Helps Me – Book Review

Jesus Helps Me – Cover

I was contacted by Shelton Interactive on behalf of Callie Grant, the founder of Graham Blanchard, asked if I would review a children’s book by the title: Jesus Helps Me. She knew this blog is Christian based and about birds.

Jesus Helps Me is Christian and about birds. This book is another one in their Knowing My God series.

To begin with, the book is made to be handled by young children. The pages are very colorful, the photos of the bird are great. The verses are simple enough that a child can understand them, and are teaching good Biblical Truths.

As you turn the well made pages (thick, that can be handled by a youngster without tearing); they are colorful, have a bird photo and a simple description or information about the bird, and have a verse or partial verse that is spread over several pages. The page color is different each time you turn a page. That is for teaching colors to the young children.

The book is for babies, toddlers and young children. They suggested reading to babies because they thrive “just hearing your voice as you read the Bible passage in this book.” Toddlers can be shown and told about the birds and colors as a learning tool, besides the verses. As the children advance in age, they can be taught more about those verse to increase their knowledge.

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

As I was reviewing this book, besides the book teaching the little ones about verses, birds, colors, etc., I had another thought.  What a great way to start training “new birdwatchers.” And, from a Christian perspective, no less.  :)

Jesus mentioned the “little children” in many verses. In Matthew 18:2-5, Jesus taught this lesson:

“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. (Matthew 18:2-5 KJV)”

For more information, you can contact, www.grahamblanchard.com

ABC’s Of The Gospel
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Birds of the Bible – Lord Who Is There

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) ©USFWS

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) ©USFWS

I am currently taking a Ladies Bible study, “Disciples Prayer Life.” One of our lessons suggested using some of the different names of God while praying. There is quite a list of God’s names in our lesson. Some of them are:

  • God (Elohim) – Sovereign, Power, Creator
  • Lord (Adonai) – Master, Ruler, Owner
  • Jehovah (the self-existing Lord) – eternal, changeless, faithful
  • The Lord our Provider (Jehovah-Jireh)
  • The Lord our Peace (Jehovah-Shalom)
  • The Lord who is there (Jehovah-Shammah)

It is this last one, Jehovah-Shammah, that has really caught my interest. As you can see, it means “The Lord who is there.”

When we read Genesis 1:1, it begins with “In the beginning, God…” The word for God here is Elohim – אֱלֹהִים ,  ‘ĕlôhı̂ym,  el-o-heem’ There is much to be said about this, but, for now, that is not my purpose. The Lord God is the Creator, Sovereign and all-powerful. God has no beginning, or ending, He is the Alpha and the Omega.

Because God has always been, the word, Jehovah-Shammah, “The Lord who is there” is also true. God’s Word chose not to use that word here.

Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) by Ray

Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) by Ray

All of this to explain a passage about the sparrows, which I have used many times before, that could have used the word ” Jehovah-Shammah.”

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31 KJV) (emphasis mine)

When a sparrow or any bird falls and/or dies, their Father, knows all about it because HE IS THERE.

If a fallen sparrow is noticed by the Father, who is there, should we not receive comfort from knowing that our Lord God knows and sees us also. As that passage goes on, there is comfort given to us because we are of more value than the birds. We, mankind, were made in the image of God, animals and birds were not. Because of sin, the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, provided salvation for us. It cost the Lord His blood to save us from our sins. We have a choice whether to receive that Sacrifice or not.

Anyone for a Sparrow Snack?

Every since I saw this photo, Matthew 10:29, has meant more to me than just a bird dying of old age. That whole cage is packed with sparrows to be eaten. That sickens me, but maybe I eat things that sicken others in another culture. I just found another photo of a roasted sparrow. I refuse to post it.

I love Sparrows of all kinds and the other birds. Most of all, I am thankful for a Creator God who cares for those birds and for us. When we KNOW that the Lord IS THERE, we can have comfort knowing we can pray and bring our requests to the Lord, knowing that He cares and already knows all about our needs.

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Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Sparrows

Birds of the Bible – Worry and Sparrows

Sharing The Gospel

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More Photos To Enjoy!

My friend, Jeanie, who wrote the poem, Hummingbird, sent me these photos. Enjoy!

The photography is amazing, but the captions are priceless !!!!!

I hate it when he plays "Mount Everest ..."

I hate it when he plays “Mount Everest …”

Who the is "Sugar Lips"?

Who is “Sugar Lips”?

Those brownies were Far Out!!

Those brownies were Far Out!!

NO! We Don't want any Magazine Subscriptions!

NO! We Don’t want any Magazine Subscriptions!

There's a ringer competing in the Hogtown Olympics.

There’s a ringer competing in the Hogtown Olympics.

I'm not Over-Weight, I'm Under-Height!!

I’m not Over-Weight, I’m Under-Height!!

You do have an odd perspective on things.

You do have an odd perspective on things.

Lunchtime at the Corncob Cafe

Lunchtime at the Corncob Cafe

Okay, I caught him, now what do I do with him?

Okay, I caught him, now what do I do with him?

I hate this game.

I hate this game.

Flight 'Hum-One' coming in for a landing.

Flight ‘Hum-One’ coming in for a landing.

Just act natural and blend in.

Just act natural and blend in.

Where's my Coffee?

Where’s my Coffee?

Whooo loves ya, Baby?

Whooo loves ya, Baby?


But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
(Colossians 3:14-17 NKJV)