Ross River sightings

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Ross River sightings
From: "Dicksons" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 10:40:24 +1000
Some recent sightings from the Ross River, Townsville:
The past week has seen the unusual occurrence of up to 11 Glossy Ibis feeding on the manicured lawns in front of a new housing development that fronts onto the river near the Ross River Bush Garden (end of Thompson St, Mundingburra), joined by flocks of up to 72 Straw-necked Ibis - the drought must really be biting hard.
The Black-fronted Dotterels nearby have just hatched their third clutch for the season, but I doubt the two tiny chicks will survive - so many off leash dogs passing through. Also breeding are Masked Lapwings, making birding in some spots rather difficult. Down towards Gleeson's Weir a pair of Darters have constructed a nest & a pair of Cotton-Pygmy Geese was seen prospecting for a likely spot to put theirs. A small Australian White Ibis colony is also underway just upstream from the Nathan St bridge.
I have had several unconfirmed sightings of both Little Bittern & Bush-hen around the reeds & grass near Aplin's Weir. Leaden Flycatchers have been unseasonally common - I've had 12 sightings this summer from all around the Townsville region, including Ross River, where they built a nest. An Oriental Cuckoo is still present at the Palmetum & sometimes there is also one at the Bush Garden. At least 2 Red-kneed Dotterels have been resident on the marshy grassland below Aplin's Weir for a couple of weeks now.
Tim Dickson
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