Monday, 2 May 2016

The Great Great Crested Grebe Hunt

I don't know what the syntax police will make of that subject line:  Great-Great? Great-great? Great-crested? Crested-Grebe all seem viable alternatives.

Late last week a notice was posted on the COG chatline that an immature Great Crested Grebe had been sighted in West (indeed very far West  - you can spit into NSW from there) Belconnen.  For Bird A Day purposes that would be a very Great bird.

So off I went on an attempt to locate this bird.  This is one view of the West Belconnen Pond, looking from the North-Western .  You will note that the panorama is totally clear of Great Crested Grebes.
I was intrigued by this notice, which appeared to be hanging on the fence which follows the ACT/NSW border.
Why is DoF putting up such signs?  Could it be something to do with the nearby powerlines - but what is that to do with Finances?  Surely it is not to stop people from spitting across the border? Suggestions welcome.

I then moved a kilometre or thereabouts South to Fassifern Pond.  It is very small - too small to really host my target Grebe, but it did have an Eastern Great Egret (which became Bird of the Day) as well as a few other species.
 Still having a little time to spare I took myself to Shepherds Lookout on Stockdill Drive, Holt.  I didn't expect to see a Grebe there - the Murrumbidgee is not quite their habitat.
 I did spot an odd lump in the River but it turned out to be a fisherperson.
So on Sunday I decided to check the big settling pond at Queanbeyan Poo Pits,  I have seen a Great Crested Grebe there in the past but that was then and now all the grebes were small.  A Hardhead became Bird of the Day, although the most curious sight was a Great Cormorant on a nest on a platform in the pond.
On Monday I was in Canberra so checked out bits of Lake Burley Griffin, which have previously been graced with the hairy grebe.  From the bridge at Warrina Inlet I could see no grebes but a heap of Australian Wood Ducks: my count was 289 (some are out of this image).
 Crossing Scrivener Dam my next call was Acacia Inlet.  A good crop of Australasian Swamphens (Bird of the Day) but no Grebes (of any size).
 At the risk of being boring the same applied to the Lake near the outflow of Sullivans Creek.
Now Great Crested Grebes are found in parts of Tasmania so I thought the pond in the Tasmanian part of the National Botanic Gardens might be the go.
Nope: too small and too many reeds!

Other members of COG have assisted by naming the many other water bodies in the area which were also free of Great Crested Grebes on this date.

No comments: