'New' Dickson Wetland- Hoary headed grebes

To: canberra birds <>
Subject: 'New' Dickson Wetland- Hoary headed grebes
From: Susanne Gardiner <>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2013 14:21:43 +0100 (BST)

It has been mentioned before. The Australasian Grebes have been breeding there for the last couple of years. I've seen a dollar bird there once and over this summer the Reed Warblers have established themselves. 
We've had a couple of Black-fronted Dotterels there a while back, and over the last few months there were a single White Ibis and a single White-faced Heron on site. 
There are people and dogs going onto the middle ridge/peninsula, which I regard as a bird retreat, not just the small island. Not a lot of people go on there, but it might be enough to keep the crakes away. 
My dogs swims in there (though I keep her off the middle ridge) and the ducks seem to have got used to the dogs. They don't take flight, just swim outside reach. 

There are plenty of roos around, especially at dusk, night and at dawn. A couple of weeks ago the big "resident" male got killed on Majura Avenue in front of the Primary School. The grass at the wetland is littered with roo-poo.

What I haven't seen for about a year is the long time resident Guinea Fowl that used to live on Hawdon St and the TAMS site for years. 


From: boy nature <>
To: ; ;
Sent: Wednesday, 29 May 2013 7:25 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] 'New' Dickson Wetland- Hoary headed grebes

I havent noticed it mentioned before.
There is a new wetland in Dickson. A websearch revealed quite a lot of information, including a Facebook page! I have heard quite a lot about wetlands being developed in Lyneham, but not about Dickson.  It is looking amazingly good after only 2 years (2 June 2011). See weblink. It does not appear in Googlemaps (as an obvious pond but is listed as a wetland in words) or in Yellowpages maps. The wetland can be accessed from Hawdon St and can just be seen across the Dickson playing fields when driving along Antill St.  The wetland is an overflow pond built in the shape of a U, with East and West sections. It looks quite deep and reminds me of Queanbeyan sewage ponds.
I have visited a few times over the past year and the vegetation is growing up very well. Today on arriving at the wetland I saw a bird and that 'initial jizz moment' was Hoary headed Grebe. But I thought, naah, probably just an Australasian grebe. I didnt have my books with me, but I did remember the key characteristics to look for, the eye, the eye stripe, and the flanks. I tried to get closer and accidentally flushed a lot of the birds on the East side of the ponds. 4 Hoary headed grebes swam into the centre of the water (one of their habits) while numerous Australasian grebes swam towards the reeds. Close enough to each other to have a good comparison of the above features.
In all I counted the above, plus 17 Australasian grebes, 2 hardheads, 95 black ducks (more were hiding in the reeds on the West side so there were more than 100), 12 woodducks, 1 grey teal, 1 LP cormorant, 2 coots, 2 crested pigeons. Plenty of other birds as well. Ive been hoping to see a rail or crake because the reeds look ideal, but no such luck.
So add this to your Site tick list and see how it improves over the next few years.
Benj Whitworth
ps Also it mentions 'watch out for kangaroos' yet this site is almost 1km from the nearest nature reserve. I also saw a kangaroo just outside Ainslie Footy Club the other night, which is well within the suburb.

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