Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Some recent birding trips

I have been out and about a bit recently.  The first foray was to Namadgi Visitors Centre, hoping to see some crakes or rails in the dam.  No luck: whether that was because it was early afternoon or the low water level wasn't clear.
 Quite a lot of the trees had been very well munched.
 From the corpses on the ground I think this was mainly Christmas Beetles.

There were not a huge amount of birds around (Western Gerygone was the best): this may be because they could feel the build up towards a large thunderstorm which caused me to bail out rather quickly.  On the way back to the car I was impressed (not positively) by the number of thistles.  Judging by the seed-heads opening there will be plenty more next year!
Presumably they can't afford to employ someone to go round and whack the plants when they are emerging.  The only problem with that theory is that they can afford new-age hippy bullshit like this interpretive hooch.
 Its a very nice interpretive hooch, including a motion sensor operated audio system (which probably cost them 2 years salary for a weed-whacker class 1) but I'd rather see thistles getting punished than guff about the old settlers.

I thought I might get in front of the storm by going across to the Murrumbidgee.  Nope the storm followed me.  The River has a good amount of water n it, such that Angle Crossing is closed.
In the recent past the other access route into the area, down Smiths Rd, has been wiped out a few times by the bridge getting washed away.  From the appearance of this bridge I reckon it is there to stay until the climate changes.
On Monday we were heading in to Canberra but were able to swing quickly in to Campbell Park to look for Australian Owlet Nightjars.  Given their quiet habit we were delighted to find this little chap quite quickly.
 While in town I got an email saying that 102 Plumed Whistling Ducks had been seen at Bungendore.  Showing unusual restraint (having had drops in my eyes I couldn't see anything anyway) I didn't ask Frances to take us home that way - which was possibly good for my health.  However on Tuesday I zipped over to Trucking Yard Lane and there most of them (85) were.
 There are a few more well to the left of the imaged flock.  I thought you might like a couple of close-up shots.

Heading back for home I called in to the 6 Mile TSR and got a bird list of 18 species in about 20 minutes.  The highlight was a family of Varied Sitellas, including these 2 dependent fledglings.
 There was still quite a lot of flowering going on, including this Calotis.
 The Eucalyptus rossii was shedding bark -, probably as a result of the rains of the last two months signalling a growth spurt.

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