Wednesday, 20 December 2017

COG does the AIS

21 members and guests gathered at a warm, dry and calm AIS car park.  Despite moving into summer mode and gathering at 0830 to avoid the heat it was already 28.5C according to the Jetta's thermometer.  Here is a graph of the 2 days temperatures at Carwoola.

This did not deter our first target species - Superb Parrot - of which 6 were seen before the sign on sheet was completed.  2 of these were recently fledged young, seen being fed by adults.  Others of this species were seen overflying by most of the group at various stages.  Fortunately for our Canadian guests a female posed very clearly in a eucalypt as we returned to the cars.

We proceeded down to the wetland adjacent to Ginninderra drive which was unfortunately devoid of the hoped-for Australasian Bittern. Indeed, the only member of the Family Ardeidae was a good number of Australian White Ibis, mainly exploring the ground outside the tennis courts.  At the wetlands the most significant sightings were dependent young of each of the common Rallidae (Australasian Swamphen, Eurasian Coot and Dusky Moorhen).

Moving around the campus we found a clan of 6 White-winged Choughs occupying a nest which had shown some chicks therein.  
(Later in the outing a second group of 18 White-winged Choughs were observed. )  The nesting Choughs were soon followed by a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo emerging from a hollow.  
A good number (at least 10) Red-rumped Parrots were found 

... as were 11 Crested Pigeons.

It was surprising (to me if no-one else) that the return through bush along the foot of Bruce Ridge added only one species (Noisy Friarbird) to the trip.  Perhaps that is what happens when an area is bisected by a highway and subject to very frequent proclaimed burns.

Through the day representatives of many species of bush birds were seen giving a total of 40 species of which 6 were at various stages of the breeding process.  A full list is here.

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