On the way home from my trip to Pinnaroo in eastern South Australia last Friday I called in on the artificial lake at Lameroo. Lake Roberts is next to the caravan park and golf course on the eastern edge of town. We’ve often stopped there for lunch or morning tea on our way to the eastern states.
This lake is an average birding spot and one of the few places to observe water birds for many miles in every direction. The Murray mallee region has very few places where there is open water. I only stayed for a few minutes but still managed a nice list of birds.
- Australian Wood Duck: about 15-20 feeding on the lawn around the lake
- Little Pied Cormorant: one sitting on an exposed log
- Masked Lapwing: at least 6 feeding on the grass along the water’s edge
- Little Raven: calling from the nearby golf course
- Galah: several flying overhead
- Australian Magpie: several in trees in caravan park
- Red Wattlebird: feeding in trees near picnic tables
- Magpie Lark: 2 seen feeding along the edge of the water
- Welcome Swallow: about 12 sitting on the power lines in the main street
- Rock Dove: many seen flying near the wheat silos (the tall white structures in the photo above)
- Black-tailed Native-hen: 1 feeding on the grass
The most notable species was a solitary Black-tailed Native-hen. This bantam sized bird moves around very readily, and large numbers will suddenly appear in an area after rain or floods or in response to changing seasonal conditions. They can then disappear just as quickly. To find a solitary bird is unusual.
They are found throughout Australia where conditions suit them, usually near water, either permanent or ephemeral bodies of water. They can breed rapidly in response to good conditions and sometimes number in the hundreds (or even thousands) in a small area.
Despite being very common, and I’ve often seen them in large numbers, I don’t yet have a photo of this species. Click here to see photos and more information about them.