Alan Stuart wrote:
We haven't had many records of Black-necked Stork in the past 2-3 years -
perhaps it's to do with the drought, who knows. Anyhow, I'm advised today
that on the way to a camp near Gloucester this weekend, an immature
Black-necked Stork was seen at a wetland 1-2km before Craven along the
Bucketts Way (i.e SE of Craven).
Alan and all
I went to see the BNStork today - according to the Tomaree Birdwatchers
they saw it at this dam yesterday and it was still there when I got to
the spot at 1.45pm and left at 2.30pm, having checked the other dams
nearby in case there was another.
The site is the dam between Bucketts Way and the railway line at Craven,
on the north side of Woods Road which runs off Bucketts Rd. GPS 32 09 23
- 151 56 34
It's an immature but has some glossy green/blue/black on its neck - no
eye colour visible. Back feathers are a bit grey/dusky black, but has
white on the chest/belly. NO BANDS. This I could clearly see from Woods
Road looking north where it was standing on the near side of this very
reedy and shallow dam. It was standing on both legs preening, then on
one leg (left) still preening. Then cattle walked towards it and it
moved along the edge - is a bit wary of the cattle but didn't fly. When
I returned at 2.15 to have another look, it was walking around in
shallow water/reeds and picked up a tortoise, dropped it, picked it up
again and then decided it was too big to handle and dropped it again,
and carried on looking for something to eat.
Also Plumed Whistling Ducks (about 75-100) were again seen at the pig
farm on Bucketts Way, just south of Stratford, opposite Upper Avon Rd.,
one day last week. This seems a favourite site but one can only see part
of the dam from the road, so there could be more present.
And finally, the Tomaree Birdwatchers handed me a ground thrush killed
at the top of Copeland Conservation area on the Scone Rd this morning.
I'm not sticking my neck out to say it is Bassian or Russet but I go for
Bassian. It will get to Walter Boles eventually.
And at Copeland Cons.Reserve this morning, both Black-faced and
Spectacled Monarchs are back, plus Noisy Pitta and Wompoo pigeons
heard, and Logrunners seen, amongst others - reported from Tomaree
And finally, mea culpa, I have a confession to make. That "Grass Owl" we
found recently south of Gloucester turned out to be a Barn Owl after
all. Took it to Walter Boles last Wednesday, who said immediately"Barn
Owl" and then had a sad time looking at drawers of Masked, Grass and
Barn Owls. I now know the difference at close quarters. Much appreciated
Walter's generosity re: his time as he is preparing to move the bird
dept to temporary quarters during re-building of part of his area, and
everything was in process of being put in boxes - fortunately the owl
drawers were still accessible. Thanks Walter - and I fot to ask you, how
long can one keep a bird deep frozen and it remain useful for you?
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