birding-aus weird Pied Herons

To: "birding Aus" <>, "Niven" <>
Subject: birding-aus weird Pied Herons
From: Goodfellow <>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 99 11:43:26 +0930
Hullo Niven and others

I've just paid a short visit to the Leanyer sewage ponds and immature 
Pied Herons, presumably those you referred to in your last email.  They 
are not the birds I saw on Sunday.  Let me clarify a few points; I know 
that immature Pied Herons have darker legs (and beak) and white on the 
wing, and I would have discounted the birds I saw as immatures of this 
species except for the following points.   The original two birds were 
larger than the Pied Herons nearby (in fact).  There wasn't a huge 
difference but it was noticeable in both body and leg length and overall 

The original birds were clean, not muddy or stained, and they weren't 
moulting unlike the young Pied Herons nearby.  The upper legs appeared 
black, the lower leg mostly dark with a yellow tinge in one bird, 
olive-green in the other, and were longer than those of the other birds.  
 The back and wings and cap were darker than those of the immature birds 
presently at the pond.   

Incidentally there are now Little Curlews feeding on the drained pond 
farthest from the road along with Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Red-necked 
Stint and Curlew Sandpiper.   Unfortunately, because the sludge is being 
removed from this pond trucks and a bulldozer had cut off access to that 
and the next pond, it was not possible to do more than a quick search 
from one corner.   Numerous other birds  including Pallid Cuckoo, Little  
Bronze-cuckoo, and a Welcome Swallow which obligingly sat on a nearby 
pipe while we had a good look at it.  Whiskered Terns are coming into 
breeding plumage and look very smart.

To anyone who's interested in some Aboriginal information, little brown 
wading birds have a generic name in Kuninjku, Kolarawikwik.  Pied Heron 
is known as Nogadjog.  


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