|Field trip to Cox's Scrub and Mt Compass|
|40 different species were seen on 2nd June 2014.|
Birds seen at Cox Scrub
|Field trip to Laratinga Wetlands, Mt. Barker|
|51 different species were seen on 7th April 2014.|
Birds seen at Laratinga Wetlands, Mt. Barker
51 different species seen on 7th April 2014
|Field Trip to Goolwa Ponds & Goolwa Barrages on 24th February 2014|
|Trip to Goolwa Ponds & Goolwa Barrages on 24th February 2014|
59 different species were seen on 24th February 2014.|
Birds seen at Goolwa Ponds
59 different species seen on 24th February 2014
|Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica)|
Size: 37 - 41 cm|
Wingspan: 7 - 80 cm
Male weight: 190 - 400g
Female weight: 260 - 630g
Habitat: Coastal mudflats and sandy intertidal zones
The Bar-tailed Godwit is a large wading bird with conspicuous blue-grey legs and a long, dark, slightly upturned bill with a pink base. The breeding and non-breeding plumages of the male Bar-tailed Godwit are noticeably different, changing from dull grey-brown in the winter to rich chestnut across the back and breast during the summer breeding season. The neck, breast and sides of the body are finely streaked with black ad there is a dark brown and grey streaking on the back and the wings. The breast returns to an off-white colour once the breeding season is over, while the rest of the plumage becomes duller with pale fringes to the back and wing feathers.
The female is generally larger than the male with a noticeably longer bill and has little red-brown colouration during the breeding season. Both the male and female Bar-tailed Godwit have a distinctive black and white barred tail.
The Bar-tailed Godwit is a non-breeding migrant in Australia. Breeding take place each year between late May and August in Scandinavia, eastern Siberia and Alaska. The nest is a shallow cup in moss sometimes lined with vegetation. Both sexes share incubation of the eggs and care for the young.
This bird has the record of any bird for undertaking the longest non-stop flight, flying over 11,000km in 9 day without taking a break.
| A small bird 9-11 cm. with a widespread distribution often in the canopy of tall forests but also in low mallee woodlands it can be identified in the canopy by a loud chip chip call with a number of other similar calls, it has a short-tipped tail and relatively short rounded wings.|
Mostly insectivorous, occasionally eating some plant material, they feed singly or in pairs although during the winter months they will join mixed feeding flocks. The favoured food source is the lerp which has a honeydew casing. The pardalote has to spend some time avoiding larger honeyeaters which also eat the lerps, they will occasionally eat some plant material.
Monogamous breeders with both partners sharing nest construction, incubation and chick rearing, they nest in deep horizontal tunnels with a very small entrance, mouse hole size, also can be found nesting in cracks in stone walls, tree hole, cliff faces and nest boxes.
|Bird Field Trip to Ingalalla Falls on July 25th 2012|
|Bird watchers from our local Normanville group were fortunate to join Nick Tebneff and Keith Jones, members of the Fleurieu Bird Watchers group on a visit to Ingalalla Falls and Springs Road Native Forest
A cold and blustery day was not ideal for seeing many birds but we were delighted upon our arrival at the falls to see a female scarlet robin which was feeding adjacent to the car park. We had some good sightings of her and she seemed quite unaware of us. When leaving we were graced by the appearance of the male scarlet robin, with his brilliant red breast and black back.|
As we descended to the creek and walked towards the falls we spotted several small birds in the undergrowth that Nick identified as striated thornbills. The speed at which they moved made recognition difficult. We were reminded that our knowledge of bird songs needs to improve.
The most beautiful bird sighted was a golden whistler which was spotted a distance away and then flew into a tree next to where we were standing and stayed in that tree for a few minutes so we were all able to enjoy his beautiful plumage.
Other birds seen in this location included a pair of wood ducks, a grey shrike thrush, a grey fantail, a scrub wren, a crescent honey eater , a little raven, and a group of Adelaide rosellas.
By mid morning we drove further up the Hay Flat Road, turning in the direction of Parawa and stopped at the entrance to Springs Road Native Forest. Nick led the way to a track which rises quite steeply with dense forest on our left. Before we had gone very far we came to a dam which is a haven for several types of water bird. A beautiful pair of shell ducks were preening themselves at the edge of the dam and their plumage was stunning. Swimming on the far side were some grey teal ducks.
Further along the track we saw a nankeen kestrel, which flew down for prey near a huge fallen gum tree. The kestrel retrieved its prey so quickly we were unable to see what it was, but hoped it wasn't a male scarlet robin previously seen near the fallen tree.
A huge flock of sulphur crested cockatoos seemed quite unsettled by our presence, screeching loudly overhead. Nick spotted a white throated tree creeper which kept evading our view by moving round the tree trunk but most of us caught a glimpse of it. There were several fairy wrens twittering nearby, their tails visible above the thick ground cover of ferns and grasses.
After a brisk walk and the onset of rain we decided to retrace our steps and drive back to Ingalalla Falls car park where we could enjoy our lunch under shelter. During lunch we discussed the birds we had seen and recorded the numbers of each species. Nick informed us of some other great bird watching sites for future trips.
We parted in good spirits and look forward to our next day out. Our thanks to Nick and Keith for sharing their knowledge and company with us and to Wendy from the Normanville Resource Centre for organising the day.
|Aldinga Scrub Bird Watching Field Trip|
|In spite of the sudden change in the weather our dedicated group enjoyed a great day bird watching at Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park on 23rd April 2012.
Equipped with cameras and binoculars and wearing several layers of clothing including hats and wet weather gear we were well prepared for anything. |
Aldinga Scrub is located between Aldinga Beach and Sellicks Hill and contains the last major remnant of native coastal vegetation in the greater Adelaide region. This patch of scrub is of particular importance as it has been preserved as an example of the natural landscape which existed along the sea front prior to European settlement.
The scrub is used by many school groups and it is cared for by Friends of Aldinga Scrub, a group of volunteers who work hard to ensure the fragile ecosystem is not destabilized by the encroachment of suburbia. Invasive weeds are removed and indigenous vegetation encouraged to regenerate.
Our bird watching group found it a wonderful refuge for a variety of native birds, some observed for the first time by group members. All equipped with binoculars we were constantly on the look out for birds and helped each other locate them. Neville, our guide for the day and a Friend of the Scrub were familiar with the area and led us to particular locations where he had observed birds previously. He had very good recognition of bird songs which helped us to identify many birds.
One of the birds seen by some for the first time was the crested shrite-tit, which we were able to locate and observe thrre of them stripping bark from a tree and then follow them to nearby bushes. The elegant parrot was seen several times, in flight and also perched on bare branches. Few of us had seen one before.
A dusky wood swallow was seen throughout the day, one of Wendy's favorites! Tree martins and welcome swallows were flying overhead during the afternoon, difficult to spot with binoculars but we were able to distinguish differences between them. We were really hoping to see the striated pardalotes, then one showed itself fleetingly during lunch, alomost coming down for crumbs. We were lucky enough to see a male hooded robin perched at the very top of a tree and it stayed there long enough for most of us to focus on it.
Of course all the more common birds were also seen but we still aim to seek out the rarer birds, such as wee bills which are so difficult to spot in dense foliage. We shared an absolutely wonderful lunch and discussed our forthcoming trips, with three already in the pipe line.
Each day we have shared has been so interesting and there are always new things to learn both in relation to birds and also the plants which they need for their survival. It was really energizing to be in such a natural environment where plants, native birds and animals co-exist as they have for hundreds of years.
|Scott Creek Bird Watching Field Trip|
|On Monday 10th October five keen bird watchers set off for Scott Creek Conservation Park accompanied by Wendy White from Normanville Resource Centre.
Scott Creek Conservation park is located 30km south of Adelaide and contains the ruins of an old silver mine as well as some of the most diverse natural vegetation and wildlife in the Adelaide Hills. In the 1850's the area was mined for both copper and silver and by 1887 the mine had produced 310kg of silver. The mine shafts are now sealed off and partly camouflaged by the scrub and native flora.
The park has many fire tracks which double as walking trails, some ridge tracks gave superb views of steep, heavily wooded slopes. The countryside is varied and provides examples of open scrub, swamps and bogs, gullies, and steep forested hillsides. Numerous creeks provide their own diverse habitats, the understorey including banksias, grevilleas and hakeas. It is hardly surprising that the area claims to have over 600 native plant species, many extremely rare as well as 128 species of birds.
We were fortunate to have Tom Hands as our guide. Tom has an intimate knowledge of the park having been a volunteer there for over ten years and was able to guide us along narrow tracks, pointing out rare orchids and other wild flowers on the way. Tom spent time describing different plants and how he strives to maintain the balance by removing any weeds which threaten the environment. He also took us to an area where the Southern brown bandicoot has been seen recently. These are an endangered species.
Tom's knowledge of bird calls alerted our attention to many birds before we saw them. At one point on a track which followed the creek he pointed out a spotted pardalote's nest which was a mere hole in the side of a bank. We waited nearby and saw the small bird both leaving the nest and later returning.
Other birds we observed included the golden whistler, grey fantail, silvereye, yellow faced honey eater, eastern spinebill, superb fairy wren, yellow tailed black cockatoo, grey shrike thrush and white throated tree creeper. We were able to see the tree creeper at quite close range as it moved up the trunk of a nearby tree searching for grubs.
In a clearing we were able to view at a distance, a wedge tailed eagle which was holding something in its talons. The kookaburra and grey currawong were also heard as well as the grunts of a koala which we later saw climbing a nearby tree.
The day went very quickly and although the weather was cool and rather overcast the sun did appear. There were many photographs taken by members of the group which are a good record of flower species seen.
Our thanks go to Wendy for organizing the trip and to Tom who made it such an interesting and informative day.
Report by Diana Wallfried
|The small Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis) birds are found nesting and foraging on our local beaches. They are a Threatened species with less than 70 Hooded Plovers left in the Fleurieu, so protecting their beach habitat is extremely important. They attempt to breed by making a small nest on the beach to lay their eggs.
Hooded Plovers live on ocean beaches and on coastal dunes. The Hooded Plover's diet includes insects, sandhoppers (Orchestia sp.), small bivalves, and soldier crabs (Mictyris platycheles). It forages at all levels of the beach during all tide phases. It is most usually seen in pairs or small groups, darting about at the water's edge as waves recede, bobbing and pecking along the shore. They nest during late spring and summer which unfortunately is also the busiest time of year on our beaches. Their simple next-scrapes in the sand and well camouflaged eggs are very hard to see and therefore at great risk of being stepped on. The tiny chicks struggle to survive because they need to feed on the beach, but cannot fly from danger for the first five weeks after hatching.
The major threat to the success of these birds breeding are dogs who are left to run free on the beaches and people who are invading their space as well as vehicles and horses. The adult Hooded Plovers will abandon the nest to keep it hidden and will not return until the disturbance ends. If this is for a long period, the eggs can literally bake on the hot sand, or be eaten by predators such as ravens, gulls and foxes. The chicks are also easily frightened by people and dogs. Without time to run and hide in the dunes, they will crouch near seaweed making them easy to step on. If disturbed too often they may starve to death.
See following links for Hooded Plover distribution and what we are doing to help.
Hooded Plover Locations
Protecting the Hooded Plover
Monitoring the Hooded Plover 2011 to 2012