Wednesday, 15 June 2016

COG checks the Infrastructure and McMansions of Molonglo

18 members and guests gathered at the North Weston Ponds and sorted ourselves into a small number of cars for the short drive to Edgeworth Pond to start the walk.  It was still cool, but bright sunshine and no wind made for pleasant walking conditions.

Crossing the street to look at the ponds a few Coots and Australasian Grebes were seen on the water before attention was grabbed by a flock of birds feeding on a grassed area.  
While the birds were rather nervous it was concluded that there were at least 12 Australasian Pipits (Bird of the Day - finally), 8 Flame Robins and 15 White-fronted Chats in the flock.  A number of Superb Fairy-wrens and 2 Golden-headed Cisticolas were foraging in flax plants a little further on.

As we crossed the wall at the end of the pond a further group of 10 Flame Robins were seen perched on a fence.  We walked out to a lookout over the Molonglo Valley ...
 ... watching 2 immature Black-shouldered Kites flying between perches.  
While the adult birds are very spiffy I like the buffy colours in the immature birds so here is a second photo.
At least 15 Red-browed finches were feeding in a creek bed below the walkway.  A total of 26 species were recorded for this site.

After crossing a small creek with a well-eroded (buggered is another appropriate word) bridge over the recently-troubled waters ...
.... we re-joined the road around the outside of the suburb but soon dropped back down to the fire trail (since there was no room for birds between the McMansions).  
As well as marvelling at the size of the residence, how many galahs can you see?  My count is 5 - don't be misled by shed hi-vis.  

In the next stretch some totally unwarranted allegations were made that the walk was entirely structured to enable walkers to marvel at this street sign.
I am unsure whether these allegations were a reflection on people's eyesight or literacy.  Whatever: I am pleased to say I have no connection with Senator Dame Nancy and our political allegiances are completely different!

There was not surprisingly a good flow in the Molonglo
 but few birds.  3 Double-barred Finches were seen in a deciduous tree and 2 White-faced Herons were exploring a small pond.  Another water quality control pond, alongside Annabelle View 
was checked, but again there were few waterbirds present.  15 species were recorded on this sector.

A short stroll along the road brought us back to the North Weston Ponds.  At the risk of repeating myself there were few waterbirds present. 

3 Hardheads were the only ducks and a highlight was a decision that the grebes present here were Hoary-headed Grebes.  Four more White-fronted Chats were seen, first feeding on the ground and then perching conveniently for photos on a fence.  
14 species were recorded here.

We totalled  36 species for the outing.


Sue B said...

Wish I'd been able to come. I haven't walked over there for a while and am ashamed to say I didn't realise I could see White-fronted Chats quite so close to home (Holder).

Flabmeister said...

You'd have been most welcome. I hope you're inspired to get there soon.

It will be interesting to see how the avifauna changes as the human population builds up.