Seventeen people, a record number of people, saw sixty-three birds, also a record number on our first-ever visit to this wonderful birding location.

The weather was very kind, with no rain or wind, and we were having such an enjoyable time that we ended up staying for most of the day. The only downside was that the areas where Orange-bellied Parrots were most like to be found were closed off due to the Annual cattle quarantine program. We saw pond after pond of wonderful water birds, including over 1000 Pink-eared ducks…we normally get excited at seeing one!

 Outside the bird hide
Outside the bird hide

So much to see
So much to see

We were surprised to see quite a number of waders, which are normally on their way back to Australia from Siberia at this time of year. We assumed they were immature birds which had stayed behind when the others left in the autumn. We were mystified by three Curlew Sandpipers in lovely reddish breeding plumage.

Curlew Sandpipers
Curlew Sandpipers, one with reddish plumage

Red-necked Stints
Red-necked Stints 

The highlight was good views of two of the uncommon Glossy Ibis, with their bronze-brown plumage with a metallic iridescent sheen on the wings.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill & Glossy Ibis
Yellow-billed Spoonbill & Glossy Ibis

A small flock of beautifully-marked Zebra Finches was an unexpected sight and Cisticolas are always nice to see.

Zebra Finches
Zebra Finches

Cisticola
Cisticola

Eight species of raptors and ducks were seen, both species of the so very elegant Stilts, and three small Dotterel species.

 Pink-kneed Dotterel
Pink-kneed Dotterel

 Red-capped Plover / Dotterel
Red-capped Plover / Dotterel

 Black Kite
Black Kite
Brown Falcon
Brown Falcon

 Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite

Some of our party had never seen any of the quite stunning Avocets with their gorgeous bronze heads contrasting with the white and black of the rest of their plumage.

Avocets
Avocets

I was fascinated by their feeding method which I had not observed before. They were using their long, fine, upturned beaks to gather food in shallow water and on sand banks by short sideways sweeping movements, a bit like Spoonbills. This was followed by a brief shiver, and shake of their necks and heads, as they swallowed their aquatic food.

All in all, it was a day to remember.

Ellinor Campbell

Photos by Margaret Lacey and Phil Watson

Events Calendar

Sep
21

Thu 9:00am - 12:00pm

Sep
24

Sun 9:30am - 11:00am

Sep
25

Mon 9:30am - 11:00am

Sep
25

Mon 11:00am - 1:00pm

Weed of the month

Bushy Yate

Bushy Yate

Bushy Yate, Eucalyptus lehmannii, is an evergreen densely rounded tree to 8m with spread of 3m. It is endemic to the south coast of Western Australia but has naturalised into the Surf Coast cliffs, coastal areas and bushland where it seeds prolifically. The orange flower pods form clusters like fingers extending from a hand and the horned seed capsules are fused at the base in clusters of five to eight.

More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.

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