Monday, 4 April 2016


This post reports on a couple of successful ticking expeditions in the past few days.  I can't really call them twitches since the trips only added a few kilometres to other activities, and I did look at other birds while in the area.

The first trip was to Kelly's Swamp to make yet another effort to see the White-cheeked Honeyeater that has been hanging out there for some weeks.  Before going to its haunts it was nice to see a good collection of Freckled Ducks (in total I counted 21) including these sitting next to the front of an Australian Pelican.
I was wondering whether or not to show the back of the Pelican but have decided it serves as a great warning to be careful walking (or paddling a canoe) under a Pelican.
 There is a White-cheeked Honeyeater in this photograph.  Unfortunately it is invisible in the mass of eucalypt blossom.  It subsequently emerged when I didn't have my camera in hand.
That was a big tick as I had put in a lot of visits to try to find the wretched bird.

A little later that day a message came through that Swift Parrots had been sighted at the Hackett Water Tanks.  This suggests to me that there is eucalypt blossom somewhere nearby although I could see no blossom on the Eucapytus bridgesiana - magnificent ones at that - in the area.
 Here are the landmark Water Tanks ....
 .... which seem to overflow into a small drain where the parrots come to drink
 In talking about parrots I include Galahs and other Cockatoos.
 I cannot recall ever seeing so many Eastern Rosellas in one place.  It was basically impossible to count them but on one occasion when I approached the drain I conservatively estimated 30 of these birds flew off: there may well have been more in the area.  They are such stunners they deserve two photos.

Crimson Rosellas were in lesser numbers so only get one photo!
 The Gang-gangs were busy demolishing gum nuts high above the drain.  I think these were both males but there were 6 birds in the flock in total so I would expect it was as usual 3m and 3f.
The main business however was the Swift Parrots.   They are very rare in Canberra, breeding mainly in Tasmania as shown in this eBird map for December to February...
 .. and then spreading up the North Island in Autumn.
They are very colourful and attractive birds

I saw a minimum of 8 birds.  For some reason every other species in the area seemed to chase them.  Fortunately they live up to their name and go like small rockets.

This was one of about 11 Crested Pigeons in the broad area, and I have included the photo as the iridescent wing panels show up rather well.
 On the plant side there was a heavy crop of buds on the Cryptandra amara...
... while the Cassinia longifolia has finished its cycle for the year.
 I'll finish with a couple of good examples of graffiti (sort of because I have the images and like them).  The first is on the back of the Water Tank.
It is the first example I have seen of Icon Water displaying anything resembling a sense of humour: I expect that it will be painted over momentarily!

The second is a wall at the Hackett Shops.


Ian Fraser said...

Congrats on the White-cheeked; I must be about the only one to have failed to see it now, so had better exdigitate. Where is that lovely flowering euc?

Flabmeister said...

Park at Kelly's - noting the strong anti-burglary measure (a sign saying don't leave valuables - thank you Board of Management for your non-support of visitors) - and go across the bridge towards Fulica Hide. Turn left towards the Silt Trap and it is a bit along there on the LHS of the track.