On Thursday, in search of something a little different, I headed to the aqueduct. I haven't been to that part of the river for a few months - mostly because of the long grass during summer. As we saw recently, I have no difficulty finding snakes on clear, frequently used paths in autumn, so I didn't fancy chancing my luck on seldom-used, overgrown goat tracks in the middle of summer!
Even on this occasion I was suitably cautious.
Firstly I wandered down the rutted track which is the end of Boundary Road all the way to the river. I could hear Spotted Marsh Frogs in all directions, but as usual had no luck er...spotting one. Somewhat surprisingly as the weather was mild and there was only a gentle breeze, there were very few birds around. Usually this area is a hive of activity and I often see birds here which I don't see on other parts of the river.
Of course there were the usual New Holland Honey Eaters, Superb Fairy-wrens, a Mudlark and a couple of Magpies, but nothing less common - with one exception. The Golden-headed Cisticola. They were everywhere. This is the only part of the river on which I have found them, but I can be pretty much guaranteed that I will either see or hear them on any occasion I am in the area.
A little research tells me that these guys are also known as Tailorbirds for their habit of stitching leaves to the outside of their nest. Like Willie Wagtails, they use fine grasses and cobwebs in the construction along with other soft material which is used to line the nest.
|Golden-headed Cisticola, rear view|
I did wander over in that direction and managed to get a few blurry photos of a raptor which circled overhead and perched briefly on one of the concrete piers. It took off again before I could get close enough for a decent shot and then reappeared circling above for several minutes, but at no time close enough to get a better photo. As best I can tell, it was probably a Brown Falcon, but I couldn't be sure.