The March walk was our farewell to waders, as next month they will be on their extraordinarily long and hazardous annual northerly migration…10,000 kilometres one-way!

Our ocean and saline mudflats provide a mass of seafood for adult birds, but the chicks with their tiny-bills need the abundant summer insects  of the Arctic.

On arriving at Blue Rocks we hardly needed the telescopes to see a flock of tiny waders on the sand.

On the beach at Blue rocks…now which wader is it?

Far over on the edge of the rocks we were pleased to see a group of the larger, and less common, Pacific Golden Plovers, however they flew away before we could photograph them.

Red-necked Stints at Blue Rocks

When we had seen enough we tried Hospital Swamp which, though rapidly drying out, contained sufficient wetness to keep flocks of waders busily feeding.

Hospital Swamp, just muddy enough

Two groups of small plovers ventured out from the vegetation and, on the far side, there was one timid Spotted Crake, plus a pair of hovering Whistling Kites. Flocks of ducks and swans also flew over looking for wetter locations.

Double-banded Plover at Hospital Swamp

At Barwon Estuary, one Caspian Tern displayed his gorgeous red beak, and there were hundreds of swans, just beautiful in flight.

Swans over the Barwon Estuary

Ocean Grove Reserve was very dry but a Yellow Robin gave us the once over, and we were entertained by the delightful call of a Rufous Whistler.

Very dry at Ocean Grove Reserve

When birds were in short supply we enjoyed the dragonflies.

Blue Skimmer Dragonfly

An Echidna entertained us by hiding his head in hole, just like a small child who thinks they cannot be seen.

Echidna spines

The tally of 54 species for the day, which included many bush birds, was very satisfactory:

  1. Black Swan
  2. Grey Teal
  3. Chestnut Teal
  4. Crested Pigeon
  5. Little Pied Cormorant
  6. Great Cormorant
  7. Pied Cormorant
  8. Australian Pelican
  9. Cattle Egret
  10. White-faced Heron
  11. Australian White Ibis
  12. Straw-necked Ibis
  13. Black-shouldered Kite
  14. Whistling Kite
  15. Purple Swamphen
  16. Australian Spotted Crake
  17. Black-winged Stilt
  18. Pacific Golden Plover
  19. Red-capped Plover
  20. Double-banded Plover
  21. Black-fronted Dotterel
  22. Hooded Plover
  23. Red-kneed Dotterel
  24. Masked Lapwing
  25. Common Greenshank
  26. Red-necked Stint
  27. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
  28. Curlew Sandpiper
  29. Caspian Tern
  30. Crested Tern
  31. Pacific Gull
  32. Silver Gull
  33. Blue-winged Parrot
  34. Superb Fairy-wren
  35. White-browed Scrubwren
  36. Yellow-rumped Thornbill
  37. Brown Thornbill
  38. Singing Honeyeater
  39. White-plumed Honeyeater
  40. Noisy Miner
  41. Red Wattlebird
  42. White-fronted Chat
  43. New Holland Honeyeater
  44. Rufous Whistler
  45. Grey Butcherbird
  46. Australian Magpie
  47. Grey Fantail
  48. Willie Wagtail
  49. Little Raven
  50. Magpie-lark
  51. Eastern Yellow Robin
  52. Silvereye
  53. Welcome Swallow
  54. House Sparrow

Ellinor Campbell

Bird photos by Margaret Lacey

Dragonfly photo by Lynn Bunning


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