Wednesday, 1 March 2017

170301_Macalister Wetlands Reserve and Bellbird Corner

Eight Heyfield Birders gathered at 9 at the start of a warm/hot day.

Macalister Wetlands Reserve was just about dry in the western water and two small pools getting smaller on the eastern section. Undaunted by the potential lack of water birds, we birded hard. Leah and John had already spotted a juvenile Nankeen Night-heron. A Brown Goshawk flew overhead. It seemed like hundreds of Superb Fairy-wrens flitted about the drying and dried mud providing an escort to three Spotless Crake and two Buff-banded Rails. Jack and John [another John] braved the long grass of the eastern section and flushed five Latham's Snipe for all to see. No snakes. We met Rowan! Jack spotted a Golden-headed Cisticola, a pair of Yellow-billed Spoonbills flew in, a single Satin Bowerbird was seen at a world record height, for the species, in a eucalypt, six Australian King Parrots argued in a tree and a Brown Gerygone was positively identified by two birders. Forty-three species in total. An excellent number for a dry wetland!
Spotless Crake
Black-fronted Dotterel
Buff-banded Rail
Golden-headed Cisticola
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Brown Goshawk, juvenile, probably female.
After morning tea, we motored just up the road to Bellbird Corner. As we jumped out of the cars, Leah spotted five White-throated Needletails !!! Mega. Duncan Fraser and the committee do a great job keeping the Corner well maintained and have erected a new info board and seat. We then met Duncan leaving from one of his regular sortees looking for anything but especially odonata, had a chat for a few minutes and notified him of the Needletails which were not on the Bellbird Corner Bird List. Highlights here were a Brown Falcon, Sacred Kingfisher and a Fan-tailed Cuckoo. Twenty-six species in all and a total of fifty-six species seen for the day -- not that anyone is counting.
Eastern Yellow Robin 
White-throated Needletail heading southwest
Lunch was back at the Port of Maffra where we met Jane and had an excellent discussion about all sorts of things. A great day.