Canada Geese on NSW south coast

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Canada Geese on NSW south coast
From: "Peter Marsh" <>
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2007 11:43:03 +1100
Dear Birders,

Following Mike Jarman's recent posting I strapped my kayak (Mike said one might 
need a boat) to the wagon yesterday evening and drove down to Wilfords Lane 
near Burrill Lake. Not having a clue where the lake was I just parked on a 
nicely mown bit of grass at the southern end of Wilfords Lane by the light of 
the waning moon and went to sleep in the back. Imagine my surprise when I awoke 
at 5:30 am and hopped out of the car to see 4 Canada Geese  swimming sedately 
in line astern formation across a small lake in the middle of a swampy area, 
beside but not strictly part of Burrill Lake, which lay immediately below the 
spot on which I had parked the car. No need for a boat here but the scope came 
in handy as the birds were 100 m or more away.

The birds were clearly Canada Geese (I have seen them in a number of countries 
previously) with a black head and neck with a white patch extending from the 
ear covert region downwardly to beneath the neck; large generally buff/brown 
body with white vent area and black tail. They were behaving in an entirely 
natural and "wild" manner. They swam to the shore and spent the next 2 hours 
grazing in swampy grassland and then settled down to preen and loaf. They went 
out of view a couple of times. Firstly the went behind a group of casurina 
trees and then later went into a ditch where they were obscured for around 10 

To find the birds drive down the Princes Highway to Milton. As you exit Milton 
heading south take a right turn at the Rainbow Pie Shop into Croobyar Road, 
then 1st left into Wilfords Lane. Drive south along Wilfords Lane to a sharp RH 
bend nearly at the end of the Lane. There is a mown area of grass and a sign 
saying "Medowlake Lodge" at this bend. The wetland is on the LHS facing south. 
One can see a part of Burrill Lake (or the creek feeding into it) behind the 
wetland. The following link it will take you to a satellite image of the area. 
The lane is in the upper LH corner and the wetland is in the middle of the 
picture :-,-95.677068&sspn=34.122306,63.808594&ie=UTF8&ll=-35.351886,150.432787&spn=0.034302,0.062313&t=h&z=14&om=1
 . From this link you can change from a sattelite image to a straight map and 
you can zoom in and out to get the lie of the land.

The trip was 235 Km each way from Balmain in Sydney. It is a lovely area and 
there were a bunch of nice birds including at least 6 Channel Billed Cuckoos.

Thanks to Mike for alerting Birding-Aus to the presence of this vagrant on our 

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