Australasian Bittern & Freckled Ducks - Pitt Town Lagoon, NW Sydney - 17

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Australasian Bittern & Freckled Ducks - Pitt Town Lagoon, NW Sydney - 17 April 2013
From: "Wilsons" <>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 20:25:43 +1000
Hi all
I went to Pitt Town Lagoon this morning (8:10-11am) in search of the Freckled Ducks reported on Eremaea over the last two weekends. However, by a stroke of luck, I also saw an Australasian Bittern.

I saw the Bittern seen very well three times between 8:30-10:45. 1st time approx 8:40 when I was standing on the mound at the northern end - it was being harassed by Whistling Kite as it flew across lagoon from the Golf Course towards town (east) side of Lagoon, where it dropped into one of the typha reed beds with a honking protest; 2nd - when I walked down the east side and it flushed from these reeds and flew back across the front of the lagoon to the most northerly reedy (ie no trees) island; 3rd - about 10:40 when it headed back from that island towards the golf course. 2 great views and 1 OKish - certainly no longer marked "Would like to see better" on my life list!

I also found the Freckled Duck - 4 were loafing on one of the centre islands including 1 bird showing red at base of bill. I think that a telescope would be necessary to pick the birds out as they were a long way off.

Also seen at Pitt Town Lagoon 2 Swamp Harriers, 2 Sea Eagles, a Peregrine, 5 Whistling Kites, lots of Reed Warblers and Little Grassbirds, at least 4 Australasian Shoveler, 40+ Pink-eared Ducks, several Restless Flycatchers (1 having a serious go at a Sea Eagle), 2 Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, several of both Red-kneed and Black-fronted Dotterel, and a very busy party of Yellow-rumped Thornbills. I think I heard a (late) White-winged Triller too but I couldn't track it down.

Perhaps not surprisingly, work this afternoon seemed rather mundane!

Tom Wilson

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