Ash Island Ponds

To: <>, "Aimee Hutchinson" <>
Subject: Ash Island Ponds
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 20:10:20 +1100
Hi Birders,
An early morning visit to the Ash Island ponds in the Lower Hunter Estuary this morning at low tide proved to be very worthwhile in that there was pair of Black-necked Storks frequenting the Duck Pond & the Swan Pond, feeding on the shoal of fish that were being hunted by many waterbirds including 105 Great Egrets, Royal Spoonbills, White-faced Herons, cormorants, pelicans and 13 Intermediate Egrets. While Black-necked Storks are irregularly seen by others on Ash Island, it was the first time that I had seen one there during our regular surveys, so that two was a very added bonus.
Amongst the 177 Black-winged Stilts was yet another Banded Stilt. 497 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers were seen along with 29 Red-necked Stints, 4 Red Knot, 7 Greenshank, 43 Marsh Sandpiper, 24 Curlew Sandpiper and 29 Red-necked Stint. Marsh Harriers, Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel, Whistling Kites and two Sea-eagles were the raptores on view while Tawny Grassbirds, reedwarblers, Cisticolas and White-fronted Chat were easily heard and seen.
This great morning was somewhat tarnished on the return journey by the finding of a recently roadkill Powerful Owl at Palmers Creek, Toronoto, near a bit of a wet gully. What a great bird, and what a way to die at 32 58 32S, 151 31 51 E.
Alan Morris
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