Frost after frost. Crystal clear skies at night.
Oh for some pollution to wrap us in its comforting, and insulating blanket of smoke. (That's a joke, folks!)
We have had a series of heavy frosts, night after night, and they seem to be getting heavier. Today as I drove into Bowral, there was thick ice on all the puddles beside the road. I noticed other people's Tree Dahlias looking as burnt off as mine.
But when I came back home at lunchtime, there were flocks of small birds, (Brown Thornbills, Blue Wrens (Superb Fairy Wrens), White-browed Scrubwrens and Silvereyes flying around, having a lovely time, picking off the little insects amongst my young trees, in my "Side Garden" - see photo above. So, life goes on (and death too, if you follow my point) in the middle of a deep freeze.
Here is a photo of a male Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) which I snapped amongst the Sassafras Trees, down in the rainforest gully below my house. There were a lot of birds active there, today.
Incidentally, the Golden Whistler's Latin name means "Thick Head - with the chest". Thick Head was the old name for what we now call "Whistlers".
And this photo is of a Thornbill, showing what one normally sees in the tops of the trees - a dark shape, moving about.
This would generally be called a "Small Brown Bird". Such birds are best identified by call, but that requires some familiarity with them, unfortunately. Otherwise, patience, and quietness, and time spent standing in a suitable place, till you get a good look at the bird. You can listen to the call of the Brown Thornbill on the Lamington National Park site - go to Birds/Brown Thornbill. Click on the "ear" symbol to download the call, and listen to it. It is not very clear, but it is better than nothing.