Wednesday, 21 October 2015

COG visits the Lagoon With Many Names

The name of the area of marsh North of Collector has often been discussed on the COG Chatline.  in the most recent outbreak of hostilities debate it seemed to be concluded that the official name was Rose Lagoon with an alternative of Tarago Lagoon.  A friend has since pointed out that on a very old map of the Parishes of NSW the name Terrago appears very close to the site of the Lagoon.
So it appears that the settlement of Tarago has shifted some 26km from the area where the name (spelt strangely) used to be.

 However:
  • it has been pointed out that the official visitor sign at the place has a plate labelling it as 'Rowes'; and 

  • in conversation the lessee, he uses Rowes.
So I have no idea what constitutes 'truth' in this matter and will stick with the suggestion in the title of this post.  I raised the matter with the moderators of the eBird site for NSW and after considering matters - including some of the antique newspapers of Goulburn (which show the first use of Rowes in 1892, after use of Rose or Rose's from ~1846 ) - it was decided that Rowes is now sufficiently well accepted in common usage to be used for eBird purposes.

Having raised the matter of the lessee, all thanks are due to him, Mr Rob Hunt.  Not only did he readily grant us permission to enter the area but he provided a key to the gate into the woodland.  Some history of his relationship with the area are in this article in the Canberra Times.

That article mentions the abundance of low leg-number reptiles in the area but we didn't see (or feel) one.  The weather forecast was also a worry:
 We got no rain, but this 3pm radar image shows there was plenty around by then.
 We did notice strong winds from about 1100 onwards, as illustrated in this doppler radar image.
 That meant we didn't do very well in finding smaller bush birds once we shifted into the woodland,

After noting a few bush birds (including a pair of Australian King-Parrots​) we decided to give the Tiger Snakes a fair shot and moved out onto the bed of the Lagoon. 
 Although a fair bit out from the boundary fence, there was still some water in the base of the reeds.
 Two White-necked Herons were seen immediately ...
  ...and a single White-faced Heron soon flew in.  At least 8 Latham's Snipe flushed as we walked towards the Northern end of the Lagoon, flying off at high speed and altitude.  A small number of Australian White Ibis were seen and several flights of Straw-necked Ibis came in, totaling to approximately 100 birds.  Here is part of the flock.
Other waterbirds seen were 4 Masked Lapwings, 24 Australasian Swamphens and 2 pairs of Black Swans, with 2 downy cygnets. No Bitterns were seen or heard.

The most obvious raptors for the day were Swamp Harriers, patrolling mainly the Eastern side of the Lagoon.  Allowing for birds spending a little time on the ground, and having three visible at the same time we concluded there were at least 4 birds present.  One was seen to fly in carrying a stick and landed in the reeds: probably nest building. Other raptors recorded were 2 Wedge-tailed Eagles, 1 Brown Goshawk, 1 Whistling Kite, 1 Nankeen Kestrel and 2 Brown Falcons.


The most surprising passerines seen were a pair of Flame Robins.  Tree Martins were briefly visible as we approached the wooded areas in the face of quite strong winds.  A nest of a White-throated Gerygone was spotted by an eagle-eyed member.
Another member of the group managed to get a photograph showing the bird peering out of its nest which he has posted here.

It was likely that the waterbirds were enjoying a serve of yabby a la carte.  Personally I find the claws the tastiest bit so am surprised they left them behind.
 An attractive member of the Astercaeae ...
 ... and a fringed flower (with 5 petals it can't be a Lily).  Indeed it isn't: as commented by Ian Fraser  it is Nymphoides geminata, with the interesting vernacular name of Entire Marshwort"!
 This is a Pratia although the raised element caused some initial thoughts about orchid!
 The snow gum woodland
 The heavy blossom on the unidentified peppermint.
A meadow greatly enhanced by flowering Ranunculus
Some examples of insects attracted to the blossom.  Two Porrostoma sp. Lycid beetles making nice (and probably more beetles) ...
 ... and a fly getting some nutrients.
There were many other insects on this blossom but the wind made it impossible to get photographs.

All in all a most interesting area which we should revisit on a less windy day!

2 comments:

Ian Fraser said...

Excellent visit! I think you'll find your yellow fringed flower is Nymphoides geminata, family Menyanthaceae.

Flabmeister said...

Thanks Ian. As I have improved the post above to show, you're right on the money!

Martin