No Northern Shoveller but plenty of other good birds to make the trip from
Sydney worthwhile. My birder companions were David Koffel, Edwin Vella and
The best follows:
- At least 23 BLACK KITE, 1 WHISTLING KITE, 1 WHITE BELLIED SEA-EAGLE, 1
PEREGRINE FALCON, 1 BROWN FALCON and 1 SPOTTED HARRIER (which gave the best
views of any bird for the day - overwhelming, what a beaut raptor!!!) all
at, yes you guessed it, where else but Maitland Rubbish Tip, not the most
scenic of places to bird but the 6 species of raptor was a charm (we saw
five other species during the rest of the day - 11 ain't bad in a day
considering our target was a duck not BOP).
- Up to 6 FRECKLED DUCK and 1 female/eclipse male BLUE BILLED DUCK at
Lenaghan's Swamp, also 150+ PINK EARED DUCK - gorgeous bird.
- No Cotton Pygmy-Goose at Minmi Treatment Ponds but a PACIFIC BAZA made up
for it, also a Spangled Drongo
- 64+ RED KNEED DOTTEREL at Ash Island, all in a loose flock, largest number
we had ever seen (anyone seen a large flock before possibly inland???? -
this is possibly drought related). Also 1 BLACK TAILED GODWIT which had
apparently been present the day before also.
- SPOTTED HARRIER (again - twice in the one day in the Hunter!) at Ash
Island, SWAMP HARRIER was also present at the same site (unfortunately not
at the same time though!).
- HORSFIELD'S BRONZE-CUCKOO at Ash Island
- An obliging AUSTRALIAN SPOTTED CRAKE at Ash Island
- The worst sighting - 150-200 COMMON MYNA at the tip - largest flock I'd
ever seen - scary!!!
Well, hoping the Shoveller turns up somewhere, hopefully McGraths Hill in
PS - Just reiterating does anyone have any descriptions, however minor or
incomplete, of plumage characters of WESTERN/MALLEE WHIPBIRDS that they have
observed. I promise that full credit will be given to observers!
Cheers to All
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