Great Crested Grebe

Subject: Great Crested Grebe
From: Keith Stockwell <>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 16:33:41 +1100
A reliable spot to see Great-crested Grebe is the new bird observation
structure in The Reed Beds, Mathoura to Picnic Point Road Mathoura (in
southern NSW), about 240km due north of Melbourne. The structure is one of
three to be built in southern NSW. One is to be built alongside evaporation
ponds in Wakool Shire  (Tullakool?) and the other in the Great Cambungi
Swamp in Balranald Shire.

A pair of Great-crested grebes is building a nesting platform in the Reed
Beds directly in front of viewing slots in the hide. Outstanding close-up
views were on offer all last week. There are at least six Great-crested
Grebes in the Reed Beds. An Australasian Grebe (when it is not under water)
is often seen feeding even closer, enabling an easy comparison to be made.
Two Swamp Harrier and a White-bellied Sea-eagle patrol overhead. Lots of
other birds are present, too, including Coot, Muck Duck, Purple Swamp Hen,
Clamorous Reed Warbler, Little Grass Bird, Australian White ibis, Black
Swan, Pelican, Black Duck, Grey Teal and Azure Kingfisher.

Sacred Kingfishers are nesting alongside the elevated red gum walkway.

At Picnic Point, alongside the Murray River near Murraybank Caravan Park is
a colony of Grey-crowned Babblers. Picnic Point is on the NSW side of the
Barmah Forest.

A very large colony of Nankeen Night Herons is roosting alongside The
Edward, along Millewa Forest Road (near its intersection with the Mathoura
to Tocumwal Road). 298 Nankeen Night Herons were counted flying directly
over the caravan park one evening, and a similar number seems to fly over
each evening at present.

The Echuca and District Branch of BOCA observed 69 bird species in the
Mathoura-Picnic Point area on Saturday.

Some members were swooped by a Noisy Friarbird which had a nest in the car
park of the Mathoura Information Centre. It's not just Magpies and
White-winged Choughs you have to watch out for!

Keith Stockwell

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