Five hardy souls set off in cold and showery weather around the three Aireys Inlet Settlement Ponds. However regular bursts of bright sunshine, a rainbow, and very little wind turned it into a mostly pleasant and good birdwatching day with 30 birds identified (full list at end of report).
From the far side we had a lovely clear view of the ducks on the still water, and were able to study their special characteristics and size differences.
The large handsome Shelducks stood out from the mid-sized Hardheads and Black Ducks, and the smaller, plainer Grey Teals. Finally, there were the small fluffy chittering Australasian Grebes. An unusual sighting for this location was a Great Egret, with its whiteness standing out in the sunlight.
We were somewhat disappointed by the lack of bush birds in the trees and shrubs around the ponds.
However this was made up for by good views of three of our colourful robins. A special delight was having a male Flame Robin precede us along one shore of the main pond displaying his superb orange/red chest, and clarifying for us his differences from the male Scarlet Robin. Also, after hearing many calls from Fan-tailed Cuckoos, we finally had a good sighting of one hopping along old Grass Tree spikes.
Below are all the birds identified on this walk: