Black-tailed Native-hens in Clarence Valley, north coast NSW

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Black-tailed Native-hens in Clarence Valley, north coast NSW
From: "Greg and Val Clancy" <>
Date: Sun, 12 May 2013 19:21:42 +1000
My wife Val and I accompanied Warren Thompson on a drive to Swan Creek, 
north-east of Grafton, this afternoon, to check on a potentially injured 
Black-necked Stork.  A couple of days ago Warren had observed the stork, an 
adult male, lying under powerlines and at first thought that the bird was dead. 
 It was seen to move its bill so Warren left to get assistance.  On returning 
he found that the stork had recovered somewhat being able to stand and 
eventually walk, if with some difficulty.  The wings and legs were not 
obviously broken so Warren left the area after watching the bird for some time. 
 Today’s sortie was to check whether the bird had recovered.  It is the 
resident male at a nearby nest which has, reportedly, three nestlings in it at 
present.  As we arrived at Swan Creek I noticed four Black-tailed Native–hens 
foraging in a paddock at the intersection of Four Mile Lane and Lake Road, 
north of the main Swan Creek.  This was our first record of this species in the 
Valley but I am aware of at least two other records, of single birds.  Eight 
Plumed Whistling-Ducks were swimming in a small creek nearby and at a wetland 
further north 100+ Pink-eared Ducks were present.  An immature Yellow-billed 
Spoonbill was foraging nearby.  After driving past the storks’ nest and not 
seeing any storks in the vicinity we eventually sighted the adult male stork 
foraging in a wetland to the north of Finlaysons Road.  It showed no signs of 
injury.  Collision with powerlines was found to be the greatest known cause of 
injury and death in Black-necked Storks during my PhD studies.    A Brown 
Goshawk took off from the roadside further to the east near to where a 
Comb-crested Jacana was foraging.  The resident pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles was 
perched in the apex of a tall eucalypt.   All in all a successful short trip to 
some local wetlands.

Dr Greg. P. Clancy
Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide
| PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460
| 02 6649 3153  | 0429 601 960

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