RFI Fivebough Swamp

To: <>, "" <>
Subject: RFI Fivebough Swamp
From: Graeme Stevens <>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2013 16:59:48 +1100
I was there fairly recently (Christmas / New Year) and I visited several times.
Water levels have been very high following the wet years but they were falling 
fast under very hot and dry conditions and the birding was excellent with 
exposed mud providing great conditions for Marsh Sandpipers and Sharpies, B-w 
Stilts and Avocets for example plus the largest concentrations of Red-kneed 
Dotterels I have ever seen.
There were very large numbers of Pink-eared Ducks and Grey Teal, Glossy Ibis 
and Black-tailed Native Hens. A few Freckled Duck  and Shelduck, Black and Wood 
Duck, Shoveler, Chestnut Teal. Musk Duck were on the settlement ponds but I 
dipped on Blue-billed this time. Plenty of Crakes (Spotted and Spotless) at the 
settlement ponds and large numbers of Whiskered Terns. Nesting Swamp Harriers 
plus all the regular wetland species - in short a magic spot as always.
While it is easy to get around the edges - even if the tracks aren't all open - 
one minus is that much of the extensive reed beds have been killed off, by the 
high water I expect, and will take time to recover (not great at oresent for 
Bitterns). With less cover, that makes the birds a little nervous and a scope 
almost essential (the "scare guns" over the crops were going off in the 
background fairly consistently and that may not help either).
With the native plantings starting to mature there are usually a good variety 
pf "bush" birds as well and I had Striped Honeyeater, Superb Parrots fpr 
example this time.
I should add that there will always be water at some level as the swamp 
receives treated output from the Leeton "poo ponds" which just adds to the 
variety of habitats. So it is ultra reliable for a visit. it is also excellent 
snake habitat - usually I get Red-bellied Blacks but this time several 
"Browns", Western I assume - quicker and a little more of a worry, though eager 
to get out of my way fortunately. But it pays to watch the ground ahead as well 
as the birds!
BTW Canpbell's Swamp in Griffith was also excellent (all three Crakes, Freckled 
Duck) and if in the area, Binya State Forest has to be on the agenda. Wattle 
Dam produced Mulga and Turquoise Parrots, Black-eared Cuckoo and Diamond 
Firetail plus lots more.  Pull up a chair first or last in the day and watch 
them come in to drink!  Red-backed Kingfisher at Tuckerbill Swamp was also a 
first for me there.
Just a great area and I am sure it will be a joy to visit - good birding.
Graeme Stevens

> From: 
> To: 
> Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2013 20:42:45 +1100
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] RFI Fivebough Swamp
> Hi there,
> Can anyone give me information on Fivebough Swamp at present.
> I am thinking of visiting in the next couple of weeks. 
> Does it have water in it at present and are there many birds around? 
> Thanks, Michael Ramsey 
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