Sunday, 13 March 2016

An afternoon wander

I dropped Frances off at the Art School at 1pm and headed back to Queanbeyan to pick up some sharpened chains for my chainsaw.  An excellent job by Laurie as usual.

I had hoped to sneak into the Queanbeyan Rodeo site for some preview pix, but they already had guys on the gate so I passed and headed for the Hume Wetlands, where Swifts had been reported.  Alas, while the clouds building up looked promising ...
 as is their wont the swift had gone.  The wetland is not huge ...
 .. but was hosting about 45 Australian Wood Ducks.  Nearby is a patch of woodland from which bird noises were emerging.  It was fairly well grazed as the small patch was occupied by at least 40 Eastern Grey Kangaroos.
Some of the low eucalypts were chomped and the main chomper seems to have been a leaf hopper Brunotartessus fulvus.  Unlike many of the munching insects these seemed to sit still and be photographed.
Most of the birds in the area appeared to be Common Starlings or Noisy Mynas but some of the dead eucalypts were popular with Red-rumped Parrots.
I then moved on to Kelly's Swamp which had very few birds.  Two Shovelers and a Pacific Black Duck were lurking on a log, revealing the distinctive orange feet of the former and the supercilium (eyebrow) of the latter.
The male Shoveler changed logs, sharing with a Long-necked Tortoise
I had decided that I would visit Bruce Stadium to check the car park for Superb Parrots but my car radio revealed that the Raiders were playing there which made the venue  much less attractive .  (The commentary for the first 20 minutes of the game made the likely result unattractive also, but the Raiders came good in the second half.)  However I noticed that there was water visible in the Fyshwick Sewage Ponds.
I peered over the fence and wrote down several species.  It would be really good if the COG Committee could actually get something happening to regain access to the ponds but such hopes are doomed to failure.

By this time I was about due to regather Frances so took myself off to the Art School.  Having a few minutes to spare I thought I would go and check the nearby National Film and Sound Archive for a Pied Butcherbird which was seen there regularly about a year ago.  I thought I might have got lucky as about 20 Noisy Miners went feral in a treetop.  After some wandering to get the right angle I found that a Southern Boobook was the cause of their concern.  The Miners got fed up with their sport and left but 4 Australian Ravens took over harassing the owl.

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