Hi Mat, birdos of Canberra and the birding-aus
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
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