We enquired at the Grampians National Park Info Centre on Sunday morning
if there were any Brolgas we might see on our way home to Melbourne. We
were told there hadn't been any reports lately, but that it might be
worth looking at Bryans Swamp, south of the Victoria Valley and on
McIntyre's Crossing Rd.
When we arrived c. 1 pm, we found a wide expanse of water absolutely
swarming with birds, reasonably close to the road - and there were a
total of ten Brolgas feeding and strolling about near the southern end
of the part near the road, in the grassland margins of the swamp. Eight
were adults with red heads and the other two appeared to be young birds,
each accompanied by two adults. So that would seem to be be two family
parties, plus 4 other adult birds. The young ones were not as tall as
the adults and lacked the bare red skin on heads - instead they were
pale and seemed almost fluffy on top, as if down or small whitish
feathers were present, catching the light with the sun behind them.
This was the first time Brian had ever seen Brolgas in Victoria and only
the second time for me.
The other birds present were hundreds of Black Swans, hundreds of
White-necked Herons, hundreds and hundreds of White-faced Herons, plus
Masked Plovers, large flocks of Aust. Shelducks, a few White Ibis, one
Yellow-billed Spoonbill, one Pelican overhead and one Swamp Harrier
making passes overhead from time to time. Also there were two Emus
skulking about, apparently feeding on some solid ground among tall dark
reeds or sedge way out in the centre. Their colour matched the
vegetation and they were picked up by the curved line of sunlight along
their backs - fortunately they put their heads up from time to time.
Probably there were other smaller species present but without a
telescope, only binocs (8X and 10X) we couldn't pick them up. Nor could
we identify a lot of white birds far away at the southwest end.
Someone else had better take a telescope there quick!
According to the Garmin GSP, location is 0611842/5841146.
Passing locals told us that they hadn't seen Brolgas there before.
Anthea and Brian Fleming in Ivanhoe (Vic)
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