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The other times we had been to Blazing Saddles it had been autumn, so it was interesting to be there in late winter in cold and muddy conditions.

We were fascinated by the sight of numerous Wood Duck high up in trees, some clearly looking for nesting sites. We wondered how their babies would survive their skydive from these lofty nests.

On the Painkalac Creek paddocks we saw many kangaroos, some with joeys, lazily eyeing us off, and, in the distance, large numbers of Magpies and Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos feasting on the ground.


We looked hard for Scarlet or Flame Robins but there was only one Yellow Robin to be seen. One Egret flew past, but we were unable to identify it, and a Little Pied Cormorant stopped to look at us.

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant

Many of the group had their first sighting of the introduced, but attractive, European Goldfinch. A really good sighting was a Bassian Thrush running across the path in front of us.

We had hoped to see number of nesting birds but only one was to be seen, a large and typically messy magpie nest  with an adult  in residence.

Magpie nest

Magpie nest

The Eucalypts in flowers were full of birds, but the poor light made identification difficult, with only one White-plumed Honeyeater to be seen in amongst the masses of Red Wattlebirds and New Holland Honeyeaters.

We had morning tea sitting in civilised fashion at a picnic table at Distillery Creek, where we were pleased to see a Crested Shrike-tit.

Morning tea

Morning tea

Many of us were surprised to see that the bird hide had been removed, although it needed repair and had become irrelevant due to the very irregular flooding of the wetlands.

Below are all the birds identified:

1.  Australian Wood Duck

2.  Pacific Black Duck

3.  Little Pied Cormorant

4.  White-faced Heron

5.  Egret

6.  Galah

7.  Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

8.  Rainbow Lorikeet

9.  Crimson Rosella

10. Laughing Kookaburra

11. White-throated Treecreeper

12. Superb Fairy-wren

13. Brown Thornbill

14. Striated Thornbill

15. Crested Shrike-tit

16. White-plumed Honeyeater

17. Red Wattlebird

18. New Holland Honeyeater

19. White-naped Honeyeater

20. Grey Shrike-thrush

21. Australasian Magpie

22. Willy Wagtail

23. Magpie Lark

24. Eastern Yellow Robin

25. Welcome Swallow

26. Bassian Thrush

27. Common Starling

28. Red-browed Finch

29. European Goldfinch

Ellinor Campbell