Saturday, 8 March 2014

Back to the poo pits

Having some time to spare in town  this morning I took myself back to the mulch heaps overlooking Pond 3 of the Queanbeyan Sewage Treatment Works (QTSW).  At first glance there wasn't a great deal of waterfowl around.
On a scan over the pond I recorded 71 Eurasian Coot (cf ~270 when the COG WW visited a few weeks ago).  While doing this count I initially overlooked the non-coot 3rd from the left.  It was good to realise eventually that there was at least 1 Freckled Duck still on the premises.
 Theer were several grebes around, and while we are approaching the time of year for which the catchphrase 'small grebes' has been invented I was able to dentify 14 as Hoary-headed (HHG) and 4 as Australian.
 That one shows the line of the dark cap going under the eye: a good field mark for HHG).  In the next two images the thin line down the nape and relatively white flanks are visible.  In the second image some of the birds are also showing traces of the hoary streaks.

Initially nearly all the ducks visible were 23 Hardhead.  However as I walked along the overgrown track below the mulch heaps several other ducks panicked out of the vegetation along the Southern bank of the pond.  This included 4 Pink-eared Duck and 6 Shoveler (nicely gender-balanced for Wimmin's Day at 3-all).
Not the greatest image of all time but it does show the large beak, the white crescent behind same, nice Chestnut flanks and a hint of bright orange legs.

Also observed were 2 Darters overflying and a Little Grassbird plus some more common ducks and other bush birds.  A full list will be submitted to the COG Atlas and QCC.

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