Saturday we visited Minmi Sewage works - the female
Cotton Pygmy Goose was still present, feeding along
with about 50 Hardheads. Appears to be a young bird -
light grey cheeks/neck and slight speckling/barring on
flanks and lower breast, brownish back. Also saw a
Hobby and Brown Falcon there.
At Pambalong Swamp were still many Black Swan and
Chestnut Teal and small numbers of Shovelers, plus
Yellow-billed and Royal Spoonbills and a few
White-necked Herons. Walking the old railway line from
Stockrington Road to the swamp. we disturbed 6 Brown
Quail in the long grass on the track, and saw an Azure
Kingfisher in the paperbarks on the left of the track
towards the end. 2 Immature Whistling Kites and 1
immature Swamp Harrier with adults, 2 Sea eagles and
another Brown Falcon, and Black-shouldered Kites.
The wind was very strong.
At East Maitland Waste Disposal were at least 25 Black
Kites plus one or more Whistling Kites giving some
Blacks a bad time, and a very scruffy dark Brown
Falcon - we thought at first this was the Black Falcon
reported by Edwin Vella but plumped eventually for a
dark Brown - very scruffy tail feathers but not long
enough for a Black, head too large, also missing
several central primaries and chest feathers very
tatty looking. However we might be wrong!!!
Ash Island - wind had died down by the time we got
there at 3.30 pm for lunch - saw two A. Spotted Crakes
in the side of the track just past the mangrove spot
on the Yellow Wagtail track, and 3 Marsh Sandpipers -
ducks appeared to be only Chestnut Teal.
Also 29 unidentified Terns roosting on the left side
too far out for bins and light too bad to scope but
they weren't Cresteds, Caspians or Gull-billed.
Altogether a great day out and a quick circuit of some
interesting Hunter Valley wetland spots.
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