Australian Shoveler at Clare, South Australia

On Sunday I went for a short walk from my daughter’s home in Clare. At the end of a nearby street I came to an open area surrounding the local sewage treatment plant. I used to visit this area from time to time when we lived in Clare about 25 years ago. I had not visited the area again since.

Sewage Treatment Plant

Sewage treatment plants are very interesting places. They tend to attract quite a variety of birds. These, in turn, attract birders like me. On this occasion I was not disappointed. There were the usual suspects like Masked Lapwings along the edges, Pacific Black Ducks, Grey and Chestnut Teal and several Australasian Grebes. I was not surprised to see about twenty Pink Eared Ducks as well because I have often seen this species on Inchquin Lake a few hundred metres away. I was delighted to see about a dozen Black Swans as I can’t recall having seen them on the lake. Perhaps the lake, with its nearby picnic area on one side and golf course on the other, is too populated and noisy.

Australian Shoveler
One species I hoped to see was the Australian Shoveler. I had not observed this species of duck for over twenty years and only on a handful of occasions at that. I have only ever seen it on one occasion elsewhere so I was very pleased to record it again here. In the past I can only recall seeing up to about five individuals. This time there must have been over thirty present. It made me wonder if this species is a regular visitor, or is it actually a breeding resident species. I must remember to check it out more regularly as I visit my daughter.

Other birds seen
Other birds heard or seen nearby include Australian Magpie, Magpie-lark, Musk Lorikeet, Galah, Crimson Rosella, Willie Wagtail, Noisy Miner, Red Wattlebird, White Plumed Honeyeater and New Holland Honeyeater. On the nearby Inchquin Lake I observed Blue Billed Ducks, Wood Ducks and four Black Fronted Dotterels.


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