Have been a bit slack lately, so have got a few days’ worth of photos from the wetlands to share. Some rarities, especially the Nankeen Night Heron, and a first ever sighting for me of a Spotted Crake (and I was the one who spotted it).
Let’s start with the Spotted Crake. I just noticed some movement deep in the rushes, so the photos aren’t too flash:
The little Australasian Grebe family seems to be doing well. Both chicks still alive some weeks after appearing. Dad is still in his breeding colours so perhaps there will be more action:
Although I have seen Great Egrets elsewhere this was the first time here. This is a non-breeding adult:
As always, plenty of ducks; but it always worth investigating as there are often many different species. The Pink-eared Ducks are featuring prominently at the moment. Note the Long-Necked Turtle looks quite at home on the Preening Log:
Other ducks include this family of Pacific Black Ducks:
and both Chestnut and Grey Teals:
Regular visitors to these Wetlands are the Australasian (Royal) Spoonbills. They are energetic fishers, swaying their beak back and forward in the water for pot luck:
A bit away from the water, a huge flock of both Australasian and Straw-necked Ibis grazed in the long grasses. Perhaps it is frequent, but I have not seen both varieties together like this before:
A highlight was a good look at a Nankeen Night-heron, a very elusive bird, and one of my favourites, It can sit still in tree-forks for hours and hours, which makes it really hard to spot. I was lucky here, in that it flew away just after I spotted it:
The Australian Reed-warblers were also about, and again very hard to spot, plus they don’t sit still for long:
Also passing through were some Dollarbirds:
Another highlight was a couple of Latham’s Snipes. One was banded (#74) and the other not. The banding is helping ornithologists learn in particular about the astonighing flying feats of these birds. They fly from Japan to here for our summer in just 3 days, hitting 100km per hour in flight. It is not clear, as I understand it, if they rest, but the belief is that they stay in the air the whole way. Little is known about what they get up to in south eastern Australia.
Other more common visitors were a pair of introduced European Goldfinches, some White-faced Heron, and a young Dusky Moorhen:
A great place for a wide variety of both waterbirds and bushbirds.
Monaghan Strategic Pty Ltd
February 10, 2019