Eurasian Wigeon at Carnarvon

To: "birdswa Google Group" <>
Subject: Eurasian Wigeon at Carnarvon
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 21:08:10 +0800

Just back from a successful twitch of the Eurasian Wigeon.

Les George had last seen the bird on Sunday 7th. He failed to find it on Wednesday 10th and Saturday 13th. But I was committed. Barbara Harvey from Sydney was coming over, and we were going to look for the Franklin's Gull at Cervantes on the way. Even if the wigeon had gone, we could look for reptiles and frogs ............

We left Perth at 05:30, stopped at Cervantes but were unsuccessful with the Franklin's Gull. We got to Carnarvon at 16:15 and we had time to look for an hour on Monday afternoon. Checked a couple of places at Chinaman's Pool and then the sewage ponds. No go. Three Australasian Shovelers at the sewage ponds is uncommon for Carnarvon.

Back there at 07:00. Looked at the down river end of Chinaman's Pool with no luck, and then from the viewpoint closest to Marmion Street. Four ducks (three Grey Teal) and a 'possible' flew past. So back to the end again. Nothing. A couple of Australian Wood Ducks and three Black-tailed Native-hen. We moved up river getting to the river wherever we could. A couple of Banded Stilt. About 100 metres from Angelo Street there is a track to the river. A bird flushed from the near bank that didn't look right for a wood duck, but I didn't get enough on it. It flew upstream. We looked along the river and found lots of wood ducks, but no wigeon. We went back to the down stream end again. Definitely a change over of birds (5 BT Native-hens), but no wigeon. We went back to the viewpoint closest to Angelo Street about 11:30. Nothing in the bins, but I scanned with the scope anyway and then BINGO!! There it was swimming with a group of coots. We moved closer but the bird had moved. We found it again on a sand bank preening.

We returned in the afternoon and the bird was still in the area. We observed it from 16:30 to 17:00 when we left.

Other good birds for Carnarvon were two Star Finch (twice) along the river, a Baillon's Crake at the down stream end of Chinaman's Pool and five Pacific Gulls at the end of Babbage Island.

We had another look for the Franklin's Gull at Cervantes on the way back today. We spent nearly two hours making three passes along the main places where there were gulls. On Monday we only found 30 to 40 Silver Gulls plus Pacific Gulls. Today we found about 92 Silver Gulls and 6 Pacific Gulls but no sign of the Franklin's Gull. So maybe the gull has moved on. But if you are passing by, then probably worth a quick look. It would only take 20 to 30 minutes to quickly check the sand spit at the south end, and the two jetties at the north end.

PS : The reptiles and frogs were almost non existent. One Smooth Knob-tailed Gecko (Nephrurus levis occidentalis) but a stunning gecko. A Little Button-quail on the road was the only other highlight spotlighting both evenings. A native mouse also ran across the road, perhaps Sandy Inland Mouse.

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email :

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