Thursday, 15 February 2018

Looking down on Foxlow Lagoon

I decided to do one of my monthly visits to Foxlow Lagoon today as it often adds a few species of waterbirds to the list for the Gazette area.

The view as I turned on to Captains Flat Rd was not exactly promising.  Hazy murk was the phrase that sprang to mind.
 My usual practice is to park at a gate and peer down from the car.  As today had a total fire ban I was unsure whether the grass would be too high to park on.  It didn't matter as the Council has graded the road and I didn't fancy blasting the Pajero over that heap of crud.
So I parked on the side of the road and looked down on the Lagoon, which was still apparently well endowed with water.
However when one observes that it barely covered a Black Swan's feet some rain is needed to prevent the water vanishing completely.
Yesterday I spent some time unsuccessfully searching water bodies in Belconnen for some reported Red-necked Avocets.  Today was more successful with two of them by the red arrows.  The yellow arrows point at 4 of the 11 White-faced Herons I recorded. Sorry about the quality of the image but it was hazy and the birds were 500m away.
Two of the Herons flew in towards the end of my stay.  They came in at a fair height, gliding like very large raptors and side-slipping like a paraglider!

That image also shows a few of the ducks and other fowl on the margins of the Lagoon.  Suddenly all the fowl took off.  I immediately scanned for a raptor but couldn't spot one.  Then I noticed a couple of hundred sheep galloping along - perhaps a fox?  Nope, a ute full of Kelpies escorting the mutton.  I hoped they were going to come up to the road as I'd like a chat with those folk, but they went in the opposite direction.

The fowl all landed back on the water.  Click on this image and they will be visible, with a yellow dot as I counted them on the screen.  There's 84 in the image which I think was between 25 and 30% of the flock.  My total estimate, as reported to eBird, across several species was just over 300 birds so that hangs together fairly well.

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