Bird-cycling at Lake Ginninderra

To: "Canberrabirds" <>
Subject: Bird-cycling at Lake Ginninderra
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 19:44:05 +1000
This morning, at the behest of Younger Brat, I agreed to go for a bike ride around Lake Ginn before the wind rose. Took our binos too, so we called it a bird-cycle. Recorded 18 species (a man would have seen more on foot, I reckon). Besides, Sami kept getting too far ahead, despite being told to slow down. So I stopped and stared intently at nothing through my binos. Accordingly, curiosity brought the young cat haring back.
"What is it? What can you see?"
"Oh, it's gone now. I think it was a California Condor," I answered. A bit of a sulk ensued, but Ms Alacrity got the message.
We saw a Dusky Woodswallow diving repeatedly at something on the ground that turned out to be a Brown Quail. Finally, the quail scampered to the cover of long grass. We wondered why a Dusky Woodswallow would harass a Brown Quail.
From the cycle path at the rear of Hungry Jacks, we saw a Rock Dove flying across the water towards us. It descended until, less than a metre above the water, it hovered briefly and dropped onto the water. Its chest and outstretched wings making contact with the water. It sucked up H2O for a couple of seconds before springing into the air and leaving.
Look, this was a virtual replay of a scene I witnessed at the very same place a few years ago. Subsequently, I learnt that, when perching space is in short supply, doves/pigeons will alight on the water to drink. I mentioned this to YB and we noted there were no drinking-perches in the vicinity. Rather, the sheer retaining walls are a good metre above the water. So, we guess, that's why the Rock Dove acted like a flying-boat.
John Layton
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