Re: Many thanks

To: <>
Subject: Re: Many thanks
From: "Brian Everingham" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 21:32:27 +1100
Hi Mat, birdos of Canberra and the birding-aus community
I was going to write a report on the birding on Friday and Saturday morning as a thank you but events down there on Saturday afternoon were so bleak I just did not have the heart to write and just hoped that all on this list were safe. But given the discussion here regarding fire and given the support I had received prior to going as well as Mat's query on how we went I shall pen a few words.
We arrived at the sewage works at 11.00am and it was baking hot but armed with the scope we walked around all holding ponds. We did not see any Freckled Ducks when we were there but the birds in general were skittish. There were hosts of Hoary Headed Grebe, Grey Teal, Chestnut Teal, Pink Eared Duck and Hardhead. There were less Australasian Shoveler and a few Blue Billed Ducks, resplendent males glowing bright blue!
And over at Kelly's Swamp we were successful in seeing two Glossy Ibis, one cooperative Australian Spotted Crake, one Latham's Snipe, a handful of Sharp Tailed Sandpiper and one Pectoral Sandpiper! That was a good sighting. It stood next to the Sharp-Tailed Sandpipers for comparison - a most convenient act. Several Red Kneed Dotterels were also easily seen, as were individual members of both Royal and Yellow Tailed Spoonbills.
On Saturday morning we spent time on both O'Connor Ridge and the Ainslie Ridge lines as well as in the bush behind the Russell Offices. It was so hot that we stopped birding at 9.30am. Some nice bush birds but I was thrilled to see a Jacky Winter!!! I adore that bird. It is becoming less and less common.
I must say before I refer to the fires that we did see a Black Falcon over the Lake George ridge line as we were coming down to Canberra on Friday. That was special.
I just wish to pass on my support to all on this list affected by the fires in the ACT and in the High Country of both Victoria and NSW. The build up I could observe over Canberra mind afternoon on Saturday was truly frightening. I come from Engadine and  fires are an annual event in our part of Sydney but this was scary. The sky was red-black and ominous. I just hope that all, politicians included, do not speak as to cause and effect until the appropriate moment and only when brains are engaged. The current debate is not helping anyone and is generating almost as much heat as that fire ... and very little light.
Thanks to all for advice given prior to our visit to Canberra and all the best to all who are dealing with the fire emergency, then and now.
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