18 November, 2011

Birds of a feather...

At the present point in time, I have so far managed to observe and photograph ninety-nine different species of birds along the length of the Barwon River. Today, being without a car for part of the day, I decided to take an extended walk from the James Harrison Bridge in town, upriver to Buckley Falls and around Mt Brandon Peninsula past Baum's Weir and back.
The weather was quite hot and windy with a storm brewing, so I was almost convinced that most of the bird population would have taken to their nests or disappeared to whatever place it is that birds seem to go when it's windy. That didn't appear to be the case today however, as the feathered population which lives along the banks of the Barwon was out in force allowing me to spot fifty of those ninety-nine species.
I didn't add to my tally of new bird discoveries during the course of the day, but I did snap quite a few shots so I thought I would use this post as an excuse to upload a few of the better ones.
Willie Wagtail nesting near Baum's Weir
The Willie Wagtail shot is one I've been taking versions of for a few days now that I know where the nest is. When I arrive, the bird usually leaves the nest to tell me in no uncertain terms to keep my distance. It then watches me for a couple of minutes before hopping onto the branch and back into the nest.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
This little guy near Queen's Park was helping himself (and yes, based on eye-colour I think it is a he) to seeds from the grass at the side of the track. He was not even vaguely concerned by my presence or that of the cyclist who passed just after I took this shot.
Male Hardhead Duck aka White-eyed Duck
This rather intense-looking male Hardhead Duck was paddling around in the midst of a bunch of
Pacific Black Ducks at Balyang Sanctuary and trying unsuccessfully to look like one of the gang.
Little Black Cormorant

Great Egret
The fishermen of the bird world seemed mostly to have exchanged the lower weir at Buckley Falls for Baum's Weir today, as the above egret and cormorant were accompanied by a Nankeen Night Heron who was also fishing off the edge of the weir. It would appear that no-one has seen fit to inform the "night" herons on the Barwon that they are supposed to feed at night as I have regularly seen them on the hunt during daylight hours of late.

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