Another day off work mid-week means another opportunity to go birding!
(Thank Godness for a 9 day fortnight!)
Left home at 6.30 intending to catch the high tide at Manly at about
11.00, but stopping off on the way, at a spot in Murarrie (eastern
suburbs of Brisbane.)
The spot in question may be known to some local birders as the Edgell
Ponds, being between Edgell's processing plant and the main railway line
to Wynnum and adjacent to Bulimba creek. It is a difficult place to
access and, possibly, not available to everyone. A couple of months ago
the main pond had been completely dry, however I found it refilled and,
in fact, the whole area very wet underfoot.
A WHITE-FACED HERON flew ahead of me as a MANGROVE GERYGONE sang from
its' habitat name. PLE-HEADED ROSELLAS flew over (they seem to disappear
over the summer months to re-appear in the last few weeks?) while BROWN
HONEYEATERS and MISTELTOE BIRDS chased and fed in the scrubby trees along
the creek. SUPERB FAIRY WRENS called from the long grass and a
WHITE-BELLIED SEA EAGLE flew lazily out of sight.
I finally approached the pond - one has to work around the edge of the
'swamp' to get to the slightly raised track that leads to the water's
edge - SWAMP and MOOR HENS scuttled for safety in their panicy way,
flapping and squawking. Ducks numbers were obviously lower than in
summer, due, no doubt, to the recent rains - I've noticed this at several
locations, but BlACK DUCKS(25), HARDHEADS(2), GREY TEAL(6) nd CHESTNUT
TEAL(6) along with 6 LITTLE GREBES paddled arily in circles, then, what's
that, check again, ? a FRECKLED DUCK hiding behind the blacks!! looking a
little apprehensive, but following the locals and trusting they knew what
to do! This close to the coast! Unreal! I watched for a while then left
without flushing anyone. On the way out TAWNY GRASSBIRDS and CISTICOLAS
scolded and warned and I flushed a LATHAM'S SNIPE from beside the track.
Alomost back to the car and 4 STRIATED PARDALOTES sparkled on the muddy
Good start, i'm thinking, now for a Dowitcher or two at Manly!!
I was a little apprehensive as to access the wader roost one has to swing
around a couple of security fences running down the rock wall to teh
water and with a 8ft 4inch tide predicted I figured I was gonna get a wet
a... coming out after the tide had peaked! I needn't have worried as the
bay was as flat as a tack (wht the hell does that mean?) and access and
exit remained dry.
Groups of waders were still arriving as I walked quietly in, head down,
face averted, no sudden movements, sit down slowly below the rockline.
There was some shuffling and murmuring among the birds but they quickly
decided to pretend I wasn't there as I pretended not to really look at
them and we all got along famously! I began scanning the 3000+ BAR-TAILED
GODWITS Well, I'm pretty sure they were mostly bar-tailed. As the new
flocks flew in I checked but didn't see any whit rumps/black tails and on
the ground - couldn't tell the difference if any existed! (I think it's
really cool the way the new birds are welcomed by the earlier arrivals,
it's so sociable, then again, maybe they're complaining at having to move
to allow the new ones a roosting spot - who knows!) On the island also
were (all nos approx) 130 PIED OYSTERCATCHERS, 40 - 50 GREAT KNOT, 10 -
20 RED KNOT, 20 CASPIAN, 10 CRESTED, 5 GULLBILLED TERNS, 10 CURLEW SANDS,
30 GREY-TAILED TATTLERS, 2 TEREK SANDS and 2 PELICANS. A few WHIMBRELS,
25 CURLEW and 7 or 8 GREENSHANKS completed the count. The only small
waders - a flcok of 8 RED-NECKED STINTS
So many birds, so little time......
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