Clarence Valley NSW wetlands

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Clarence Valley NSW wetlands
From: "Greg and Val Clancy" <>
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2013 13:14:01 +1000
Warren Thompson and I travelled ‘down river’ from Grafton yesterday to check on 
some of the Black-necked (Satin) Stork pairs that nest in the area.  Before 
heading down we drove a few kilometres west of South Grafton to Waterview where 
we located the local Stork pair.  The were standing at the edge of a small 
wetland and showed their colours and markings beautifully in the morning sun.  
I took a number of photos and they are probably the best that I have taken of 
this species to date.  Other waterbirds were also present including 
White-necked and White-faced Herons, egrets and two Comb-crested Jacanas.  We 
haven’t recorded breeding by this Stork pair since 2001 so we reckon it is 
about time they got their act together again to help perpetuate the species.  
It is possible that the original pair have been replaced by younger birds but 
even so an absence of breeding for 12 years is very unusual.  Off to Swan Creek 
and we found the adult male Stork standing on the nest high in a Forest Red 
Gum.  It flew to the edge of a wetland shortly after.  The female was nowhere 
to be seen.  This pair had produced two young a couple of months ago but they 
disappeared from the nest.  Hopefully they will re-nest.   Four Pink-eared 
Ducks and 9 Hoary-headed Grebes were on the nearby wetlands.  At Crowsnest 
Swamp at Glenugie an adult Brolga was sitting on its nest while its mate 
foraging some hundreds of metres away.  Fifteen Glossy Ibis foraged nearby. Two 
more Brolgas were foraging at the nearby Colletts Swamp and one was seen at 
Ellis Swamp, near Tucabia. The Storks’ nest at Gilletts Ridge has two well 
advanced nestlings and the adult pair were loafing on the ground nearby.  The 
adults took off and the male circled around and landed on the nest.  The 
nestlings began their begging behaviour but the male did not feed them.  He 
took off a few minutes later allowing me to get some reasonable photos of him 
in flight.  On the way to the nest we sighted a Forest Kingfisher at a site 
where they usually visit each winter.  We had to return home early so the other 
nests will have to wait for a future trip.  On the return journey we checked on 
the Plumed Whistling-Ducks at Ulmarra counting in excess of 400.  A Brown 
Falcon at Lower Coldstream was a pale bird of the rufous morph, a bird usually 
found inland, so possibly another inland bird visiting the coast at present.  
Other interesting sighting included an adult Collared Sparrowhawk at South 
Grafton and 100+ Plumed Whistling-Ducks north of Coutts Crossing and another 
100+ at Waterview Heights.  An Eastern Barn Owl roadkill was seen at Clarenza.  
An adult Wedge-tailed Eagle was sitting low on its nest east of Ulmarra.  This 
was a relief as a man was believe to have fallen out of the nest tree recently 
and ended up in Lismore Base Hospital.   



Dr Greg. P. Clancy

Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide

| PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460

| 02 6649 3153  | 0429 601 960


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