Wednesday, 16 December 2015

COG visits the Narrowish Brown Land of London Bridge at Googong

25 members and guests gathered together at the carpark for the London Bridge area.  The weather appeared fine and mild, and indeed so it continued throughout the event.  Here is the basic route followed (amounting to 4km):
The dominant bird at the start was Noisy Miner, although possibly the Australian Hobby seen by some late arrivals calmed them down a bit.  

As we progressed along the track towards the Homestead some rather fine and large trees were noted.
The alert reader will note the brown-ness of the foreground and the yellow of St Johns Wort in the back ground.  We also got our first look at the arch:
Several small  flocks of Rosellas were noted and once out of the trees the calls of smaller passerines became evident.  A Fuscous Honeyeater was recorded and White-winged Trillers, White-throated and Western Gerygones, and Rufous Whistlers were clearly heard. Dusky Woodswallows were reasonably numerous hawking off dead branches ...
... and a flock of Tree Martins were seen on the skyline.  A small number of Welcome Swallows were hawking above the grass (far more were hanging out at the Homestead).

On arrival at the Homestead (after crossing the mighty Burra Creek - working out how much that bridge cost)
..... the first group of Southern Whiteface (including a dependent young - an adult in in the poor image)
were seen.  It was difficult to count numbers as there appeared to be several groups of this species in the area and we eventually agreed that 8 birds was a conservative count.  A Brown Treecreeper was both heard and seen in a large tree behind the homestead.  2 'brown' Flame Robins and a Speckled Warbler were seen in this area.  The next image is a bit of a mystery: in the field I thought it an Australasian Pipit but another member muttered about Rufous Songlark.
 On looking at the photo I have sought advice.  Advice has now been received:  it commenced with the word "Difficult." but concluded "On balance I think I would stick to Australian Pipit."  So it shall be.

We then followed a trail mowed beside the River, passing through the edge of the bush.  A number of bush birds, including Brown-headed Honeyeaters were added to the list as we did so and at least 2 more Brown Treecreepers were heard calling.  2 Nankeen Kestrels were hunting in the grass around the Bridge and 4 Wedge-tailed Eagles soared overhead.  We took a closer look at the arch before getting back.
We totaled 51 species of birds for the walk.  There were also a few insects around.  The bushflies simply added to the weight to be carried ....
while this cranefly added some interest.
After the formal walk a few folk diverted to the nearby Tin Hut Dam.  I ticked off 20 species - mainly waterbirds - there in about 40 minutes.  The signature bird here is Musk Duck ...
 and I believe that is a pair with a non-breeding male on the left (somewhat heavier head).

It was a bit of a surprise to find 7 White-faced Herons present all on the same set of logs (only 3 fitted in the frame).
This photo of various of the other species is included primarily because of the bright blue feet on the Pelican.
All up a very good day as I found on a previous visit in Winter.

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