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.
At Bancoora Surf Life Saving Club at Breamlea we were delighted to see seven Hooded Plovers as they tried to escape the incoming water.
There were also two Ruddy Turnstones too busy jumping waves to do their ‘party trick’ of turning stones.
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.
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 Cormorant 1BL
9. Little Black Cormorant 3TP
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 Harrier 3BL
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