Kellys Shellduck

Subject: Kellys Shellduck
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 12:00:36 +1100

At Kellys swamp yesterday, saw

Australian Shellduck. I am pretty certain they are two juveniles as identified by the following features. 2 Large birds, smaller one (female) had white stripe at base of beak, very pale white eye ring, both had white neck band, large white shoulder patches, green wing patches, black beaks, very dark brown heads, smaller bird had clearly buff/chestnut breast. The only other possibilities I could think of were mallard crosses, but the beak, green wing patch, beak base stripe should rule this out.  Both birds were at the very south of Kellys swamp dabbling/grazing in shallow water and I got reasonable views. Great to see them, thanks to Steve Holliday. I haven't seen them for a while.


Also saw 3 sandpiper shaped birds but wasn't close enough.

Watched 2 Latham's snipe feeding together, then a separate bird feeding alone, over half an hour. The latter probed its beak to the base into some grass mounds.

2 Royal spoonbills. On dusk 2-3 night herons flew in. No rails or crakes or freckled ducks.

The pelicans 'calling' reminded me of hippopotamus calls and I could imagine I was in Africa again. At Batemans Bay the pelicans sit on light poles, why don't they in Canberra, especially next to the lake?

Also think I caught a glimpse of the very rare, yet omnipresent, vagrant, Geoffrey Dabbler, or is it Geoffrey's Dabbler.




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