Magpie-Goose at Latrobe University Wildlife Reserve

Subject: Magpie-Goose at Latrobe University Wildlife Reserve
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2007 09:48:19 +1100
Yesterday afternoon, c. 3.15 pm (8 Jan) I received a phone call from George Paras (Wildlife Reserve Manager) to tell me that a Magpie-Goose had arrived at the Main Lake in the Reserve. When I arrived c. 4 pm it was still there, standing on its reflection in shallow water (the Lake has been drained for control of gambusia fish). I was able to watch it with Reserve staff Anthony and David (sorry guys, don't recall your surnames!)

I'm not an expert in this species but I thought it might be immature. The bare face was pale pink and not as extensive as shown in fieldguides, with only a very narrow bare strip running up the forehead. The hump on the head was not very much developed. Some of the inner primaries were a dull dark brown rather than black. The white underparts were stained. We did not see any bands or wing-tags.

It spent most of the time standing, occasionally shifting its feet and looking around with an alert demeanour. Anthony was able to take several photos. Unfortunately it flew off at 4.25. It circled the area two or three times and then disappeared over the trees - we were not sure in which direction. We hastily checked other wetlands in the Reserve but it was not to be found. It may have gone westward to wetlands in the Darebin Creek system or eastward to Banyule Flats in the Yarra Valley. So if it is seen elsewhere in Melbourne, you are not hallucinating.

We returned to Reserve Office and reported to George (who had of course also seen it). He had been on the phone to Richard Loyn of Arthur Rylah Institute, who suggested that it probably came from the Serendip population.

  Anthea Fleming

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