Sightings, soundings and a conversation

To: "Cog line" <>
Subject: Sightings, soundings and a conversation
From: "martin butterfield" <>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2007 18:45:01 +1100
It being a Wednesday I went for a ride around various parts of inner Canberra today.  It was as always pleasant.
There were no "major excitements" but is was nice to see/hear:
1) about 20 darters strewn around various dead trees beside the Molonglo.  Some of them were still unfledged and a couple of the adults were still sitting on nests.
2)  a scarlet robin was calling under the major powerlines on the eastern side of Mt Ainslie and a white-eared honeyeater called once in the same vicinity;
3) cutting across the north ace of Mt Ainslie on a single track I watched a pair of double-barred finches with one waving a grass stalk suggestively at the other. 
4) a bit later in the day I noted that there was water visible between the vegetation in Kelly's Swamp  in front of the Ardea and Bittern hides.  It doesn't seem to have spread to the area in front of Cygnus yet.  There could be all sorts of of crakes, rails and bitterns lurking in that jungle (even herons if they crouched a bit).
5) I watched a very sustained display by a pair of blue-billed ducks at Fyshwick SP.  In this case I am certain that if the male and female hadn't paired up, it was only a matter of time.  
Shortly after this last bit a young ACTEW/AGL employee approached me and in a friendly fashion said to the effect that "I don't want to be unpleasant but you shouldn't be here."  I replied that "it was OK we had permission to go birdng there and that there was a book to sign by the gate".  He said no-one had told him abou that.  We then had a good conversation about various birds we'd seen arond the place.  I felt very virtuous as I had signed in: however I think the last person to have done so was Marnix in late February (about 10 days ago) and there had been very few sign-ins this year.  I suspect it would be good for maintaining our relatinship with ACTEW and our access to the pits if everyone made a point of signing the book each visit there.
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