RFI - Little Bittern Records from Northern Australia & a previous live Y
RFI - Little Bittern Records from Northern Australia & a previous live Yellow Bittern Record
Frank O'Connor <>
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 12:02:27 +0800
An old thread from a month ago, but I have been away in PNG.
The Australian Little Bittern is resident on Lake Kununurra and
associated lagoons such as Lily Creek Lagoon, swamp on the golf
course, etc. Little Grassbird also occurs there. Both species were
formerly not recorded from anywhere close (I think 1,000 km or even
much further) before the Lake Argyle irrigation scheme in the 1960's
(Lake Kununurra) and about 1970 (Lake Argyle). Incredible to think
that species are moving around like that and then find suitable
habitat and get established.
I worked at the Argyle Diamond Mine from 1988 to 2001. This is about
30km south west of the south end of Lake Argyle. I recorded
Australian Little Bittern twice in 2000, one sighting and once heard.
The sites were siltation ponds from the Alluvial processing plant
where typha reeds had become well established. The sites also
attracted several species of crakes, Star Finch and others. I didn't
record Little Grassbird though, although I had one record of Tawny
Grassbird at another similar site.
I believe that birders in Broome have recorded Australian Little
Bittern at Nimilaica Claypan, and that someone has recorded it at the
Derby sewage overflow.
As for Yellow Bittern, the first Western Australian (Australian
mainland?) record was at Kalgoorlie, I believe after a cyclone in
January 1967. Chris Doughty of Peregrine Bird Tours also reported
one on Lake Kununurra (or maybe Lily Creek Lagoon) on a boat trip
during a tour but did not have the time to fully document it, so I
don't think this has been officially accepted. I think this was in
the late 1990's. I was unaware of Adrian Boyle's record at Broome.
Frank O'Connor Birding WA
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Frank O'Connor <=
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