Wednesday, 7 August 2019

190807_Heyfield Wetlands and Glenmaggie FFR

With a general dearth of birds around, we finally settled on to visit the Heyfield Wetlands today; 10 attendees having a nice day with some changeable, but ultimately warmer, weather.
The wetlands are about to receive a gift of 10-16 megalitres of environmental water and Marg and John have been doing 2-3 surveys a week to get a “dry baseline” count ahead of the water going in next week. We’ll do 3-4 “wet baseline” counts to hopefully be able to tell GCMA that the water attracted birds.
With the dense plantings of scrubby trees and bushes, plus new water diversion drains in place, there is generally a good supply of birds larger and small. The water is very low though and quite dirty. Still, the waterbirds like it, especially a pair of Yellow-billed Spoonbills. We got 41 species in and around the established lagoons and paths. Lots of Superb Fairy Wrens, Red-browed Finches, Silvereyes (Tasmania variety with gorgeous buff shading) and a single Buff-banded Rail (which dashed along the path) were the highlights. I can’t see how you can get a printed list from Birdata so go to this link for the list.

Australian Wood Duck -- female
Chestnut Teal -- male
Silvereye  Zosterops lateralis lateralis (Tasmanian ssp)

Onto the newer lagoon area, the area to be filled next week. There are heaps of new bird boxes up, two with motion and sound-activated cameras. The area has been sparsely populated over the previous two counts but today we found 16 species; or maybe it was 10 pairs of eyes instead of two. Birdata list here.

After the usual leisurely morning tea, we wandered down to the Thomson River and along it to come out on Bessant St. The highlight here was a pair of Spotted Pardalotes cavorting on the opposite bank and close above our heads for quite a while. The lowlight was the dense spread of escaped Honeysuckle choking the small trees on the South bank of the river. Species count of 16 (list).

Striated Pardalotes checking a nest site
Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus ornatus (small red dot on wing)
Yellow Thornbill
Off to the Glenmaggie Flora and Fauna Reserve (map) for lunch. After lunch, we walked down the Eastern edge to Back Creek and return, for 9 species. Recent forays into the reserve had turned up exactly no birds.
Species count for the day was 51; not shabby by the current dry standards.
Next month, we will go to ….. WATCH THIS SPACE!