I visited Hird Swamp for a bird survey this morning. It has been filled with
"environmental" water from the local irrigation system. As mentioned before,
it is a bit of an experiment on rehabilating the natural swamps of the area.
In the midst of a drought stricken area it is an oasis. (Thankful to have
had 1" rain a couple of days ago though). To visit the swamp at present is
to catch a glimpse of what the early wetlands of the area must have looked
like. Masses of birds, clear water and huge numbers of flourishing water
plants - a picture.
There was a great selection of birds present today. Seven or so species of
ducks, including a couple of Freckled, Baillons & Spotted Crakes,
Buff-banded Rails, Wood & Marsh Sandpipers, large numbers of Spoonbills,
Egrets, Herons, Cormorants, Dotterels and Whiskered Terns, but also a couple
of Gull-billed and Caspian and a dozen or more Aust Bitterns. The pick of
the day though were 5 Painted Snipe! At least 2 female.
There were plenty of Orange Chats, a few Brown Quail and other bush birds
such as Pied Butcherbirds, and a White-bellied Sea Eagle kept watch over all
Worth a visit at the moment if you are able to make it.
I wish all a safe, satisfying and happy new year.
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