Trip report: Shepparton and Reedy Swamp

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Subject: Trip report: Shepparton and Reedy Swamp
From: Bill Stent <>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2014 11:41:46 +1100
A couple of weeks ago I asked for some recommendations for birding around 
Shepparton, and the consensus was that I should visit Reedy Swamp. 

I ended up in Shepparton on Monday and Tuesday, and my work had me busy until 
about 5pm on Monday, and starting again at 9 on Tuesday.

On Monday evening I walked along the bike path from the town up towards Cudgee 
Park. There had been a huge downpour that afternoon (with rain coming in 
through the roof of the electorate office) and the sky was very heavy. I didn't 
have an umbrella or raincoat, but I thought I'd risk getting wet. The path 
follows the Goulburn River downstream from Shepparton, and the river flows 
through some nice forest areas.  There were quite a few birds, but in the 
gathering darkness I wasn't able to get much, although the calls were good.  
Best bird there was the Little Friarbird, which, coming from Melbourne, was a 
bit of a treat.  I turned for home when the rain started again, and got home in 
time for a huge dinner at the local RSL.  Chicken Parmigiana, and a pint of 
Bulmers, of course. Mmm-mmm.

On Tuesday morning, I got up at 5 and grabbed the fleet car (a nice brand-new 
AWD Territory with immaculate brown metallic paint). I made it to the northern 
end and worked my way back southwards. At the north end of the track (which 
winds up the eastern side of the swamp) there were Bee-eaters, and they 
appeared to be burrowing in the sand at the side of the road, which at this 
point is along the crest of a sand ridge (would you call it a lunette?). When I 
arrived they retired to a nearby tree, and posed nicely in the sunrise.

Further south, the road goes through some forest before getting closer to the 
swamp itself. I stopped the car (which by now, after the rain the previous day, 
was sporting quite a lot of mud, including some on the roof) and approached the 
swamp. Rather than being wet, it was mainly silty mud, which I didn't walk on 
for fear of getting stuck. Out in the middle a few stags stand, and on one 
there was a juvenile Whistling Kite. An adult was cruising up and down the 
swamp, being seen off by anything that was brave enough.
 Around the edge, lots of smaller birds, like Superb Fairy Wrens and Red Browed 
Finches were reasonably common.

I might be wrong here, but I think I got both Brown and White-Throated 
Treecreepers here. The Brown TCs were investigating a stump out in the swamp, 
while the White-Throateds were in the forest around the edge.  They were pretty 
distant, but the calls separated them.

While on the subject of calls, I've put a snippet on the Birding-Aus Facebook 
page of a call - I know I've heard this many times, ut I'm not amazing at 
calls, and I just can't bring it to mind. Can anyone help me?  It's the 
repeated "kwow, kwow".  

All in all, a nice way to spend the spare time while out with work. I had a bit 
of explaining to do when returning the car, but the rest of the guys thought it 
lent an air of "rural cred". Many thanks to those who made suggestions!

The list for the two days is as follows: 

Species Name
Pacific Black Duck
Brown Quail
Australian White Ibis
Black-shouldered Kite (Australian)
Whistling Kite
Masked Lapwing
Spotted Dove
Laughing Kookaburra
Sacred Kingfisher
Rainbow Bee-eater
Long-billed Corella
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Eastern Rosella
Red-rumped Parrot
White-throated Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper
Superb Fairy-wren
White-plumed Honeyeater
Noisy Miner
Red Wattlebird
Little Friarbird
Spotted Pardalote
Striated Pardalote
Australian Magpie
Black-faced Cuckooshrike
Rufous Whistler
Willie Wagtail
Grey Fantail
Australian Raven
White-winged Chough
Welcome Swallow
Common Blackbird
Common Myna
Common Starling
House Sparrow
Red-browed Finch

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