Monday, 26 December 2016

Birding gets interesting as the year winds down

IMHO birding is usually interesting, but the recent period is perhaps a tad more so than average.

Taste alert: one of the images that follows is a bit gruesome.  That comes with the territory when looking at raptors!

My first comment is that I have had to update the comments about Frogmouths in yesterday's post,  All 4 of them are now present!

I am sure that we have had Collared Sparrowhawks nesting close to our property.  However I have not been able to find the nest, nor see the adult feeding the young.  Today an adult was calling a lot down by the Creek and, apart from a couple of flights between trees when I first got there, was very obliging in posing.
From the size I am confident it was a female.  Each time she landed with the prey she'd call loudly, but no-one answered.
Here is the prey - you were warned - and I think its avian.  If pushed I'd rate it as a headless chook, but it isn't running around.
Later in the day I went to see what was going on in some of the Bungendore wet places.  In essence, return of waterfowl is what is going on.

Bungendore Meadow Dam, which has been almost devoid of ducks recently had quite a good crop, amongst the cattle.  There were about 20 Shelduck with the biggest number being 97 Australian Wood Ducks.
Moving round the corner I was initially disappointed with Plumed Whistling Ducks.  Then I heard an odd noise and discovered 31 of them up against the roadside fence.
Another 2 were out on the edge of the water, apparently gleaning corn from the cattle crap.  (David McDonald has written this unusual behaviour up in Canberra Bird Notes.)
 There were several fowl on the Bungendore poo pits and quite a lot on the Big Dam on Lake Road.  It still has a lot of water!
So does Lake George, but the heat haze was so bad I had trouble seeing anything in detail.
Joe Hockey will be pleased to see the wind farm is still there and looking attractive to rational people.

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