Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 15, 2009

Tomago Wetlands 091215

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 5:49 am

Tomago Wetlands Wader Survey

It was lucky I remembered the survey today. I just remembered last night late. This morning I got up nice and early and headed off to Ash Island to have a look at the pond on the corner to see if there were any crakes or rails hanging around. The pond had no water at all in it. There was a crake but I was not paying attention and by the time that I saw it, it had shot off into the reeds. I walked over the hard-baked mud that was the pond to have a closer look at the reeds and to see what was around the corner. Not much, as it turned out except a couple of Australian Reed-warblers.

So, I gave that a miss and headed off to the rendezvous at Tomago House. Whilst waiting there were a pair of Dollarbirds that were flying in and out of a nest in a hollow. There were a few magpies flapping around and a single Channel-billed Cuckoo flew past screeching its hideous lament. Eventually we all set off to the Tomago Wetlands and stopped at the water sluices or gates. There was hardly anything around. Not a skerrick. We usually see some Mistletoebirds, Brown Honeyeaters, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and thornbills but they were all conspicuous by their absence.

We headed off down to the rice paddy to see what was in that. A few of us walked through the middle of the paddock to flush any snipe or bitterns. But there was nothing. It was very dry, but. So that may have had something to do with the lack of birds. We did however manage to see some Golden-headed Cisticolas. This one looks like he slipped and almost fell flat on his face. Whoops!

Golden-headed Cisticola (Cisticola exilis)

After that lame escapade we went around to the far western paddock and had a look at that. There were a few Swamp Harriers and a Black-shouldered Kite hovering overhead, as well as about a hundred or so White-throated Needletails who were wheeling above us hunting for some brunch.

White-throated Needletail
White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus)

There was not much else. While the beaters walked through the scrub, I sat down for a rest, and nearly fell asleep. That is how exciting it was today!

Well, at least we did see a few birds this morning and here is my list:

Tomago Wetlands bird list 15/12/09

Australian Magpie
Masked Lapwing
White-faced Heron
Channel-billed Cuckoo
Eastern Rosella
Chestnut Teal
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Swamp Harrier
Black-shouldered Kite
Little Grassbird
Australian Reed-warbler
Cattle Egret
Superb Fairy-wren
White-throated Needletail
Australian White Ibis
Fairy Martin
Willy Wagtail


  1. That needletail looks like a watercolour!

    Comment by Sebastian — December 17, 2009 @ 11:31 am

  2. I probably cranked up the processing a bit to get it sharper.
    It looks like it has been posterized but that is how it was..

    Comment by admin — December 17, 2009 @ 11:40 am

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