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Friday 14th August 2020

Yesterday was sunny and perfect for birding. It is always a question as to where the birds can be located and in what numbers. A drive to Jerrara Dam and then on to Spring Creek at Kiama with Andrew Wood proved good for some species.

At the dam we came across plenty of golden whistlers. Getting a great camera shot of one of them proved difficult. The white-faced pigeons proved easier as did a female satin bowerbird and a cheeky eastern yellow robin. There were also silver-eyes, red-browed finches, red wattlebirds and an olive-backed oriole. At Spring Creek there is a Bird hide from which you can observe birds on the water. There were a variety of duck plus cormorants.

Two highlights of the trip: a black-shouldered kite (bird of prey) and an echidna (spiny anteater).

The echidna was found on the road not far from Kiama. I am glad we scared it back into the bush. Those particular creatures hold memories for me of my family and the special love my parents had for them. I suppose my dad, as a factory foreman, didn’t get to see much wildlife except on holiday which made wildlife something special to him and the often shy, elusive echidna even more so. My mum being an urban housewife, also enjoyed their sojourns into wilderness areas.

There was a conversation at the dam between Andrew, myself and Roger Truscott, another birder friend and an exceptionally good photographer. I found it of interest. Apparently there are academics in Australia flogging the notion that only white people can be racist. Andrew, myself and Roger agreed this was not true since anyone living anywhere can have that sort of mind set.

I came across this idea way back in the 1980s. I was sick with the flu and at home with mid-day television. I remember this young, blond American woman claiming on the box that only white men are prejudice and that white women just go along with it to please their men. This of course lets white women, including this American, neatly off the hook. Personally, I don’t believe white men have such power over their women or any women for that matter. At the time, I knew of an old Japanese woman who had the most horrid things to say about the Chinese and this didn’t gel at all with what that American had to say.

I am fast forwarding now to the present-day notion that only white people can be racist and how it plays well to a politically correct audience. I have in mind a non-fiction book to address this issue and other similar issues. I am thinking of 1984 and of how the truth can be altered to fit an accepted world view.

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