Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Triple-dipping

According to the public utterances of some of our political representatives one of the great sins - possibly the greatest - in Australian society is double-dipping.  Exactly what this is varies according to the side of politics you come from, but accusation of such behaviour were made against women who claimed paid maternity leave from both their employer and would have been able to do so at the same time under a proposal by the recently departed Prime Minister, Tony Abbott for a Government -funded scheme.

So how much of a sin is a triple dip?  I am using this term to describe a visit to Kellys Swamp where I had hoped to ease my Bird-a-Day exercise along by spotting one or more of:

  • Grey Goshawk, which has been hanging around the area for months;
  • White-cheeked Honeyeater, ditto, but most recently seen the day before after a gap in sightings of several weeks;  and 
  • European Greenfinch, have been in the area for a long while but I haven't seen one for years, despite them apparently being bog common 50m from the car park.

After a look for the Greenfinches, which were not evident, I started looking from the Ardea hide to see the Goshawk in the expectation it would be hunting from some dead trees visible from that hide.  Not today it wasn't.  The Intermediate Egret was still present. and showing it's breeding plumes rather nicely.
I proceeded around the other hides on the swamp. always keeping an eye in the sky for passing Accipiters with no luck in that direction.  However it was good that I got to see a photographic display left over from the World Wetlands Day celebrations on 7 February.  (The image of a photographer 5th from left  is of my friend Denis Wilson.)
Looking from Cygnus hide still showed none of the Big 3 but a pair of Pink-eared duck were posing nicely.
Expanding the image should let you see the pink ears on both birds: here are a couple of clips to make it easier.
Moving on I passed some bushes where I have seen Greenfinches in the past.  Not in the present however.  It was good to find a whole bunch of Golden-headed Cisticolas around.
One of the good things about birding in Canberra is that there is only one species of this genus possible.  In my guide to East African birds there are several pages of them.  All archetypes of small brownish birds,

My next stop was a big patch of Grevilleas which was the site of the last reported sightings of the target Honeyeater.  Here is a Grevillea flower, totally clean of Honeyeaters.
I did hear a call that could have been a White-cheeked (or a New Holland) Honeyeater but didn't see the bird.  Another birder did see a flash of black and white honeyeater heading North, but wasn't game to call the species.

The woodland near here has been blessed by the Goshawk in the past but .....

I was struck by the attire of this affectionate couple.  Although kitted out for birding with bins and a camera, it was the antithesis of camouflage.
Presumably the red shoes were to scare reptiles away.

Having dipped all round I then heard of a Blue-billed Duck back on the swamp.  By the time I got there it had dived into the reeds and was thus not to be seen.  So perhaps it was a quadruple dip!

3 comments:

Ian Fraser said...

The only REALLY criminal double-dipping is putting your pretzel (etc) into the communal dip, eating the dip off the end of it and then putting it back for more dip!!

Flabmeister said...

Does this not depend on whether the end on the pretzel (etc) is bitten off or not?

Ian Fraser said...

No! Once it's been in someone's mouth, for biting off or otherwise, I don't want it in my dip!! (It could be acceptably cut off with a clean knife, but that seems a bit unlikely.) Which is a long way from your blog post, so I'll leave it there....