Barry took us south. He took us north and west. He had spent twenty years finding all the right places in a wide sweep around Sydney for the places birds like to hang out. The wonderful thing is – birds love to live in some amazingly beautiful places and that’s where Barry took us on two Birding Pal outings.
At Royal National Park, we headed down a sunny wide path when a bright flash of red sparkled in the sunlight on a nearby tree branch. An amazing little bird appeared – the aptly named Beautiful Firetail.
We continued on our way to the high sandstone cliffs looking out to the Pacific Ocean – home to the rockwarbler, a bird only found in the greater Sydney area and nowhere else in the world. The rockwarbler can be elusive but – lucky us! – we saw three hopping on the cliff as soon as we approached.
Barry surprised us with a stop at Boongala Native Gardens and Rainforest, a large garden of mostly Australian native plant species. Not surprisingly, birds love the garden. Our favorites were the double-barred finches. Boongala’s owners have created a beautiful place and only reluctantly did we move on.
We crisscrossed through the countryside, down lanes and into remote areas where Barry knew birds would be found. Some birds were sitting in plain sight and others just blended into their surroundings.
The day ended by water and rolling fields. Barry toted his scope for one last look.
When we walked back to the car, Barry checked off all the birds we’d seen and where we’d seen them. In two days of birding, we saw over 90 species – with a total of 46 new birds to add to our list never before seen by us.
We were thrilled to spot new birds (and some uncommon ones at that!) – but best of all was seeing the birds in the beautiful Sydney countryside with Barry, an extraordinary guide and gracious person.