Swamp Harrier and Red-capped Robin at Kellys Swamp

To: COG-L <>
Subject: Swamp Harrier and Red-capped Robin at Kellys Swamp
From: Daniel Mantle <>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 14:13:01 +0100
Hi all,
I thought that it might well be worth checking out the Jerrabombera wetlands today after yesterdays heavy rainfall but couldn't get there before work (I was distracted by a certain honeyeater!). Often inland rains like these are great for forcing down any passing waders so I headed down to Kellys Swamp during my lunch hour. The first bird I saw was a harrier circling the marshes. I quickly parked up but could no longer see the bird. However, upon entering the first hide next to the carpark a beautiful young Swamp Harrier quartered past in front of the hide (shame the camera was still in the car) and proceeded to drift around low over the wetlands for the next few minutes. It is a typically dark brown bodied imm/1st year bird which contrasts so strongly with the large white rump. It appears to have aquired some adult feathers in the form of greyer outer two tail feathers.
A quick search around the hides failed to turn up any waders but a female Scarlet Robin was a another nice bird for Kellys.
As I drove out of the carpark and made to return to work, I spotted another robin on the fence 50 yards from the car park entrance. I thought it looked immediately smaller and pulled up to confirm it really was a Red-capped Robin. A very drab female/imm type bird that only showed a hint of red on its cap but usually just appeared as a rather dull brown bird. I have attached a few terrible images in case anyone is looking for it - so they can see just how plain it is. It is probably best picked out by its small size (a similar size to the YR Thornbills that were perching next to it), very pale, mostly white underparts, only minor white in the wings, and lack of any pale spot above the bill.
So not the birds I was hoping the rains might have brought in, but an altogether stranger mix!
Cheers Dan

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Attachment: Red-capped Robin.jpg
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