Googong Dam, Queanbeyan, NSW

Googong Dam is a major source of drinking water for the ACT and surrounding areas. At the southern end is the old London Bridge homestead, and London Bridge itself. The copy made in London isn’t as old as this the original, which is a 20,000 year old rock formation with a hole through it created over about 400 million years by the Burra Creek.IMG_1663

Tin Hat Dam is a small filtering dam to remove as much silt as possible from the main inflow into the main dam. There is a bird hide a few minutes from the carpark. At first glance, it seemed to be home to a few ducks, but as is commonly the case, once you got your eyes (and binoculars) focussed, there was plenty happening.

Never before have I seen so many white faced herons in one place. I saw 8 all within the same small spot with a number of large fallen trees to play around.  These two seemed keenly interested in something going on which pointed me to a pair frolicking for over 15 minutes. I can’t begin to imagine what the chaser had his mind on, but the chasee clearly intended avoiding it whatever it was.

 

 

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These pelicans seemed happy at the efforts of the pacific black duck to get off the water.

 

 

There were also Australasian Grebes (non-breeding), and overhead a gulp of pied cormorants, this one a juvenile.

 

 

Further north on the Dam, there is a wooded picnic area alive with birds. One I had not sighted before is a juvenile Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo.

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It was amusing to watch a superb fairy wren (male breeding) struggling to control a struggling butterfly, repeatedly knocking it on the stump but then dropping it and having to retrieve it as it tried to flee. Not so great for the butterfly.

 

 

 

Feeding time too for the Dusky Woodswallows.

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Lastly, again feeding, a black-faced cuckoo shrike.

 

 

 

Back at home I heard two female Eastern Koel, and a male, calling. I finally managed to spot the male, but alas not yet the females.

 

 

Photographically speaking, a very satisfying day.

 

Michael Monaghan

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