Monday, 2 July 2012

Good things at Jerrabombera Wetlands

While El Camion Real was being serviced in Fyshwick I took myself for a stroll around the sewage ponds ...
... and Jerrabombera Wetlands.  All in all a very good outing recording 37 species. 

The really good bit was seeing the work that is being done around the Wetlands.  The log roosts have been added recently and should delight photographers when the birds get used to them.
 Over on the berm around the Silt Trap the Pyracanthus has been greatly improved.  Presumably that will be removed and burnt in due course.  I hope there will be an on-going programme to deal with the squillion seeds that have been dropped in the past.
On the subject of pyracanthus seeds there is of course a goodly supply on the far side of the Trap, out of the reserve.  This area is I believe due to be developed for housing and I am sure the developers will be right on top of controlling this horrible weed.  (If you believe that statement, can I interest you in buying this bridge?)
The Pyracanthus are very popular with Common Starlings.  It is possible that reports of this species declining are a little premature: I estimated there were about 1000 birds in this flock, only part of which is shown here.
It was quite impressive when the flock were panicked by  a Little Eagle flying over them!
The other raptor seen today was a solitary Black-shouldered Kite.  I know I have shown pix of them in the past but I don't believe one can see too many images of this beautiful species.
Also black and white were a group of Double-barred finches, feeding on an abandoned bike path.
It is a Wetland, so where are the images of waterbirds?  Patience is, I believe, a virtue so here you go.  Let us start by sticking with black.
Swans, that is, awakening from a sheltered snooze in the typha.  Ducks were more alert on the sewage ponds.
These are known as Hardheads.  They used to be called White-eyed Ducks (notice the white eye on the back bird indicating a male) but this apparently caused confusion with the genus Zosterops, known world wide as "White-eyes".  I was told this by a very reliable source or wouldn't have believed it.

So why 'Hardhead'?   Apparently the bird has a very small profile when travelling towards you and the heroes of the hunting brigade had trouble hitting them.  Rather than blaming this on the schooner of OP Bundy they had for breakfast they blamed the birds having hard heads!

Some other species were keen on reflected glory!  The first is a Eurasian Coot (and I am unsure when Australia was part of Eurasia) ...
 while this is a Purple Swamphen, looking very much as though it is about to attack itself.
Even an Australian Pelican got onto the act.   I hope the second image suggests the first is up to scratch!

As I left Fyshwick I noticed 12 Straw-necked Ibis and 11 White-faced Herons feeding in some long grass at the edge of the Turf Farm.  That is a surprising number of the latter species (usually seen in ones or twos) and Ibis have been really scarse since the drought brooke.

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