bush-hens and bitterns

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Subject: bush-hens and bitterns
From: "Andrew Stafford" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 22:35:13 +1000
Hi all
Spent the afternoon at the Sherwood Arboretum in what must be my umpteenth attempt to see my first Little Bittern. Given that everybody else who seems to be finding these birds has observed them generally making themselves as conspicuous as bitterns can be - flopping around the lilypads near the causeway is a standout contender for most outrageous observation to date - I should think it would be only a matter of time; but so far, no dice.
Such was the case again this afternoon. Yes, it was seen this morning (I tried to drag myself out of bed early enough, but it's a bit tiring going back to the same place three or four times a week).
Still, it wasn't an entirely lost cause. I did see the Bush-hen at the Jolimont St end - this is the first time I've caught up with this species in south-east Queensland - and, not for the first time, a Spotless Crake picking its way along the mud next to where the Bitterns were first seen, on the other side of the northern lagoon opposite Dunally St. Also Little Lorikeets in abundance, a fully crowned Royal Spoonbill and a gorgeous adult Pacific Baza - haven't missed this bird once at this location.
One curiosity was an adult Pacific Black Duck with severe deformities around the head. There were large growths on either side of the bill, severe enough on its left side to have blinded the bird in that eye, and partly forcing the bill open.
That lowlight aside, this is definitely one of the premier Brisbane birding locations at present. 41 species were logged and there were many more that I missed which were seen on previous occasions (Buff-banded Rail; Little Pied and Little Black Cormorant; Fairy Martin and others).
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