Jerra Creek & wetlands; Coast

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Subject: Jerra Creek & wetlands; Coast
From: "Rod's Gardening" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 00:45:48 +1000
Last Tuesday being the nice day it was I dusted off the Salamander and paddled over to the wetlands to check out the spring activity.  Most of the expected suspects were there including 4 families of swans with up to 4 cygnets, but the most promising sighting was a new nest under construction very adjacent to where the Whistling Kites nested successfully last year.  Not a WK in sight on this occasion, but it looks a  reasonable bet that they are responsible for the effort. A possible concern is that there is a piece of green mesh of the type used in can turf backing dangling from the nest - this could pose a potential hazard for the birds particularly young chicks (if any).  Then again, if the birds put it there presumably they can deal with it.
The reason for the late posting is that since I had the kayak on the roof I decided to head for the coast.  Intention was to get to the birding capital of the world - Ulladulla -(wanted to borrow your Shirley Bassey CDs Bob) and Tabourie Lake, but ran out of time and had to settle for 2nd best, Buckenbowra River and Durras Lake.
Highlights of the Buckenbowra trip were hundreds of Yellow faced and White naped Honeyeaters and Red Wattlebirds at the bottom of Rotary Drive, right opposite where the Buckenbowra enters the Clyde.  A pair of Pied Oystercatchers were calling and indulging in aerial display, further up the river a pair of Wedgetails were soaring, while down below I racked up another 39 species.  Perhaps the most significant non-birding highlight was the large numbers of fish visible in the clear shallow water, mainly Luderick and Bream with some real good specimens amongst them.  I haven't seen anything like these numbers on previous visits so perhaps the Sanctuary Zone of the Batemans Marine park is starting to kick in.
At Durras Lake I witnessed another calling and aerial display from a pair of Pied Oystercatchers, and later saw (the same?) birds mating near the shorebirds nesting area.  There may have been as many as 7 of this species but it was a bit hard to tell due to their constant movements.  Next was another Durras regular, the Whistling Kite, this time carrying a fish, unmistakably a Bream which presumably it snatched from the water.  The lake is currently closed and on the sandbar across the mouth were 4 Redcapped Plovers. In the Broadwater section were 70-80 swans, and in the upper reaches around Cumbralaway Creek were 3 Topknot Pigeons and 2 Azure Kingfishers.  YFHEs were ubiquitous and calling constantly, along with Grey Shrike-thrushes, Grey Fantails, Fantailed Cuckoos, Grey Butcherbirds and the occasional peel of laughter from a Kookaburra.  A Sea Eagle being harassed by a  Raven suddenly lost patience and had a fair dinkum go at its source of annoyance, with which the Raven lost interest and left the bigger bird to settle in peace high up in a gum tree overlooking its domain.
As Bob said, in the bird world it would seem that all roads lead to Ulladulla, but anyone going that way should make a short diversion to Delightful Durras -you wouldn't blame them, really!
Rod Mackay
Tel.  0407 456 330
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