Whoaah, Black Bittern...

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Whoaah, Black Bittern...
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 16:28:53 +1000
Whoooah, Black Bittern, Whambalam- in the words of Australian rock band, Spiderbait.

This morning I had a ripper Black Bittern morning, canoeing with my brother-in-law around Morisset, western Lake Macquarie, central NSW. We saw no less than 8 Black Bitterns!... although on reflection I believe that there were only 6 individuals involved.

Beauty Point (Stockton Creek)- 3 Black Bitterns, 2 females and one jet black male. At one stage all three bitterns were within 20 metres of each other. Other birds here included Azure Kingfisher, Willie Wagtail (nest on log over creek). Also the migrants that birding-aussers seem to have been obsessed with over the last week (Koel, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Dollarbird, Sacred Kingfisher and singing Rufous Whistler and White-throated Gerygone).
Beauty Point (Dora Creek)- Grey Goshawk.
Cooranbong (Jigadee Creek)- Black Bittern (1 female). Other birds included Olive-backed Oriole, Yellow-faced Honeyeater (apparently migrating flocks). Cooranbong (Dora Creek, upstream from freeway)- Black Bittern (2, male and female), Azure Kingfisher. I got a crippling view of the female bird here from a distance of about 10 metres.

On the way back to the car we saw another 2 Black Bitterns but I think that they were probably from the 3 Stockton Creek birds seen earlier in the morning. I approached where the last bird (a glossy black bird) had disappeared) quietly (this was about 1230 pm) and after a couple of minutes it flew out of the undergrowth (Lantana at this spot) over my head and across the creek with a large skink in its bill, possibly a large Water Skink, (Eulamprus quoyii). While I've seen more activity of BB in the evenings, clearly some hunting is done throughout the day.

No photos unfortunately, I'm still not game to carry my camera out on the canoe!



Michael Todd Wildlifing Images & Sounds of Nature
Latest Additions: Sooty Owl, Spotted Pardalote, equipment for sale
Toronto, NSW, Australia 04101 23715

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