Back at Abberton. another new bird, and Black Bittern

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Back at Abberton. another new bird, and Black Bittern
From: Bill Jolly <>
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2011 11:18:00 +1000
Well, we're back in the house! I can't say we're settled yet, but it's a start.
Lockyer Creek at our place is wider and shallower than hitherto, with some good 
newly regenerated margins. Accordingly, we've had an influx of waterbirds and 
waterside birds including Latham's Snipe, daily spoonbills, Cotton Pygmy Geese, 
multi other ducks and yesterday bird #212 on our house list, Wandering 
Whistling Duck.
The garden/bush side of things is pretty much as before in terms of numbers of 
spp. Although there is less cover than there was, it's coming back thick and 
fast and the bird representation is much as before, over 100 spp here so far 
since we got back. December will be our first full month here in 2011!
This-morning, as I sat with a cup of tea in the breakfast room at about 
quarter-past seven, a Black Bittern came straight down the middle of the creek. 
I thought it would just carry on past the house and under the bridge, which 
they often do, but right in front of the house, it dropped into the long grass 
on the edge of the creek opposite, and disappeared. Of course, I grabbed my 
camera and got ready for it to come out.  I could see the grass moving as it 
made its way to the water’s edge, so I stayed in  the house because opening the 
doors and going on the verandah would probably have stopped it in its tracks. 
It came part way out and stood, neck stretched just inside the edge of the 
grass. Not a great view, but worth a shot. As I sat in the armchair nearest the 
window and raised the camera – it took off! Well, a few frenzied clicks as it 
made its way down the creek away from me – but a couple of recognisable shots. 
(Attached to the off-birding-aus copies of this note.)
So, despite the prospect of a lot of slog ahead to rehabilitate the place, we 
know it will be worth it and Abberton remains an exciting place to be for us, 
with plenty of promise still in store.
Bill Jolly 
 Helidon, Qld
 27º 34' 21" S, 152º 08' 21" E

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