Casino NSW swamps and wetlands

To: "BirdingAus" <>
Subject: Casino NSW swamps and wetlands
From: "Russ Lamb" <>
Date: Fri, 3 May 2013 15:30:46 +1000
Spent a few days over the border with Jo Wieneke last weekend. On Monday 27/4 
headed up to Casino to see what we could see on their swamps and wetlands, 
checking out sites supplied by Steve McB. of Ballina. Jo was keen to see 
Pink-eared Duck again, and I was wondering whether the Freckled Duck sightings 
in SEQ would extend into the Northern Rivers.
  First stop was the Casino STW (permission is required) where dozens of 
Pink-eared Duck gladdened Jo's heart, and a sole Black-tailed Native-hen 
strutted its stuff amongst the Coots. Australasian Shoveler and Hoary-headed 
Grebe were amongst 33 species seen.
  Second stop was a swamp half-way down Queensland Road, on both sides of road. 
We counted a total of 40 Glossy Ibis here, along with Royal Spoonbill, Jacana, 
shoveler again. Total of 25 species.
  Third site was at Llewellyn's Road, west of town, where the highlight was a 
pair of Blue-billed Duck. Raptors were in evidence with a pair of Hobby making 
repeated swoops, whilst a pair of Swamp Harrier patrolled the margins, 
constantly disturbing the large flock of Cattle Egret. Whistling Kite and 
White-bellied Sea-eagle soared overhead. Australasian Shoveler, Hoary-headed 
Grebe, Wandering Whistling-duck and Glossy Ibis also present. Total of 28 
 Fourth site visited was the Banling St. swamp, unfortunately 95% covered with 
water hyacinth. We spied a few White-necked Heron in the nearby paddocks, but 
not much more.
  Fifth site was the swamp at Fairy Hill, on Fairy Hill Station Road. Here we 
found all three grebe species, as well as Brown Quail with young (looking like 
brown cotton-wool balls on tiny legs),and 3 more Blue-billed Duck. Total 24 
  Final site was the swamp at McMahon Rd., east of town, where we got our only 
Black-necked Stork and Yellow-billed Spoonbill. More Hoary-headed  then 
Australasian Grebe, some Red-kneed Dotterel, and a Tawny Grassbird were 
included in the total of 29 species.
  Our day-trip amongst the swamps gave us 75 species, including 12 
ducks/grebe/swan and 8 raptors.
  On the previous day we had  visited the Byron Bay Wetlands, their 
decommissioned sewerage treatment ponds. They are now a wonderful wetlands with 
plenty of birds and easy walking paths. We tallied 55 species in a little over 
2 hours. A pass is required to enter.

Russ Lamb, Maleny,SEQ

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