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The last Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP) survey for 2012, and wader-watching, took place on a cold, wet, and very windy day.

On our way there along Lower Duneed Road, we screeched to a halt at the sight of a possible OBP on a fence. It turned out to be Red-rumped Parrot and, in fact, the only parrot we saw during the survey at Baenschs Lane. We decided that all the other parrots were sheltering from the wind, well out of our sight.

However we were  unexpectedly welcomed by a friendly farmer onto his private property next to Hospital Swamp, so were able to access areas we had not been able to get close to in previous surveys.

We saw masses of water birds but the Beaded Glasswort, the favourite food for OBPs, was waterlogged and not attractive to them in this state. The farmer said that the new Armstrong Creek estate has led to extra flooding of Hospital Swamp. There are many concerns about this development as some of it is built on flood plain, and it is very close to these really important wetlands.

After finishing the survey we visited several nearby swamps and beaches, and there were many highlights. We saw about 100 Red-necked Stints at Black Rock beach, very close to us due to the high tide forcing them to the very edge of the beach.

High tide problems for shore birds

High tide problems for shore birds

At Bancoora Surf Life Saving Club at Breamlea we were delighted to see seven Hooded Plovers as they tried to escape the incoming water.

Viewpoint at Bancoora Surf Club

Viewpoint at Bancoora Surf Club

There were also two Ruddy Turnstones  too busy jumping waves to do their ‘party trick’ of turning stones.

Ruddy Turnstones between waves

Ruddy Turnstones between waves

A final stop was Point Addis where the strong winds were bringing Shy Albatross close to the shore, giving us good viewing through the telescope.

Perfect albatross weather at Point Addis

Perfect albatross weather at Point Addis

All in all it turned out to be a great day despite the inclement weather.

Below are all the birds identified on this day with numbers and location (see key below):

1.  Black Swan  100+BL,  50GL, 500LS

2.  Grey Teal 100+BL, 100 near GL

3.  Pacific Black Duck ? BL

4. Australasian or HH Grebe 1LS bird report

5.  Shy Albatross 4PA

6.  Australasian Gannet 6PA

7.  Little Pied Cormorant 1TP

8.  Great Cormorant1BL

9.  Little Black Cormorant3TP

10. Australian Pelican 4BL

11. Eastern Great Egret 3BL

12. Cattle Egret  3 GL 10 nearby

13. White-faced Heron 1LS, 6 ML

14. Australian White Ibis ? BL

15. Straw-necked Ibis 46BL, 10TP

16. Royal Spoonbill 2BL, 7LS

17. Swamp Harrier3BL

18. Purple Swamphen 5BL, 50LS

19. Black-tailed Native-hen 4LS

20. Black-winged Stilt 50BL

21. Red-capped Plover 20BR

22. Black-fronted Dotterel 2LS

23. Red-kneed Dotterel 8LS

24. Masked Lapwing 4BL, 2LS

25. Ruddy Turnstone 2BA

26. Red-necked Stint 100+BR

27. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper 100+BL, 2GL

28. Caspian Tern 1TP

28. Whiskered Tern 40GL

30. Pacific Gull 1BR

31. Silver Gull 6TP, 30BA

32. Galah 1LS

33. Long-billed Corella flock in paddock beside road to Breamlea

34. Red-rumped Parrot 2 Lower Duneed Road

35. Superb Fairy-wren 1BL.

36. White-fronted Chat 5BL

37. Australian Magpie 10BL,

38. Willy Wagtail 2BL, 1LS

39. Little Raven 7 near LS

40. Magpie-lark H LS

41. Eurasian Skylark 1BL,1GL

42. Australian Reed-Warbler H several BL

43. Little Grassbird H several  BL

44.Welcome Swallow Many BL, 30GL

45. Tree Martin     10BL, lotsLS

46. Common Starling 600+BL, 60GL

47. European Goldfinch 2BL

KEY in order of visits:

BL –  Baenschs Lane

GL –  Groves Lane

LS –  Lean’s Swamp

TP –  Tait Point

ML –  Murtnaghurt Lagoon

BR-   Black Rock

BA –  Bancoora Surf Club beach

PA  –  Point Addis

H –     Heard not seen

Ellinor Campbell