Latham’s Snipe breed in Japan, and each year migrate to Australia for our summer. These large, elusive, handsome birds are in urgent need of protection and better management, so each year there are counts held all over Australia.

snipeLatham’s Snipe

This year ANGAIR participated for the first time at Allen Noble Sanctuary, Aireys Inlet. The birds roost quietly during the day in or near wetlands, blending in perfectly with their surroundings, and come out in the evening to forage for food. In order to see and count them they need to be flushed out, necessitating the use of gumboots as well as binoculars.

However, the day chosen was immediately after the heaviest rainfall for the year, so the water level in the sanctuary was too high for us to wade in. We also did not wish to look in the reedy area at the back due to the possibility of disturbing nesting swans. Instead we counted other birds, and came up with 19 species, including another very elusive bird, the Buff-banded Rail, and a Great Egret.

buffbandedrailBuff-banded Rail

greategretGreat Egret

Birds identified at Allen Noble Sanctuary:

  1. Black Swan
  2. Pacific Black Duck
  3. Eurasian Coot
  4. Caspian Tern
  5. Great Cormorant
  6. Little Black Cormorant
  7. Great Egret
  8. Straw-necked Ibis
  9. Yellow-billed Spoonbill
  10. Laughing Kookaburra
  11. Gang-gang Cockatoo
  12. Superb Fairywren
  13. Little Wattlebird
  14. Red Wattlebird
  15. New Holland Honeyeater
  16. Gray Shrikethrush
  17. Pied Currawong
  18. Little Raven
  19. Welcome Swallow

The regular monthly bird walk was held the following week at Lot 2, further along the Painkalac Valley. We met at the bridge over the Painkalac Creek, as there had been some interesting sightings there when it was opened up the previous week and mud flats exposed. The best came near the end when the largest Australian tern, the Caspian, flew over us with its robust scarlet bill shining in the sun.

caspianternCaspian Tern

Altogether, we saw 32 bird species. Firstly, we saw several species of water birds in the ephemeral billabong. Then several Dusky Woodswallows, which are summer visitors, mainly sitting on fencing posts around a newly seeded area.

duskyDusky Woodswallow

Most species, such as the delightful Sacred Kingfisher, were seen down by the river in the remnant riparian woodland.

sacredkingfisherSacred Kingfisher

We were amazed to see the changes in the whole block in just 18 months of planting. The rich soil is ensuring the quick growth of most of the 4500 new plants. As they mature it will indeed be a wonderful area for many more birds and other fauna.

Birds identified at Lot 2, Bambra Road:

  1. Australian Shelduck
  2. Maned Duck
  3. Pacific Black Duck
  4. White-faced Heron
  5. Laughing Kookaburra
  6. Sacred Kingfisher
  7. Gang-gang Cockatoo
  8. Galah
  9. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  10. Blue-winged Parrot
  11. Crimson Rosella
  12. White-throated Treecreeper
  13. Superb Fairywren
  14. Yellow-faced Honeyeater
  15. Red Wattlebird
  16. White-plumed Honeyeater
  17. New Holland Honeyeater
  18. White-naped Honeyeater
  19. Spotted Pardalote
  20. Striated Pardalote
  21. Brown Thornbill
  22. Crested Shrike-tit
  23. Gray Shrikethrush
  24. Golden Whistler
  25. Rufous Whistler
  26. Dusky Woodswallow
  27. Australian Magpie
  28. Pied Currawong
  29. Willie-wagtail
  30. Gray Fantail
  31. Little Raven
  32. Welcome Swallow

Ellinor Campbell

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