Black-tailed Native-hens at Clare

Black-tailed Native Hens, Clare, SA

A few days ago I was asked by a local courier company to deliver several urgent parcels to Clare in the mid-north of South Australia. I do the occasional emergency run for this company and enjoy getting paid to go for lovely drives in the country. The wine growing region of the Clare Valley is just over 2 hours drive from my home.

After delivering the parcels I wandered over the road to the well patronised local bakery to get some lunch. I then drove to the lake on the north eastern edge of town next to the Clare Country Club. This lake is a five minute walk from my daughter’s home and about the same from where we used to live many years ago. I couldn’t visit my daughter; she’s currently teaching in Ethiopia.

While I ate my delicious Cornish pasty I did a spot of birding, including some photography. The rest of day was mine so I could take as long as I wished getting home again. The first species to show was a large flock of abut 60 Black-tailed Native Hens, shown in the photos above and below. I haven’t seen that many together in one spot for quite a while.

Black-tailed Native Hens, Clare, SA

Black-tailed Native Hens, Clare, SA

Black-tailed Native Hens, Clare, SA


5 Responses to “Black-tailed Native-hens at Clare”

  1. Louise says:

    How wonderful to see such a large group of birds. I was in Tasmania recently and saw lots of their native hens.

  2. Rare that you see that many black hens together… usually 10-15 max. Nice treat you got to see.

    • Trevor says:

      Yes – I guess over the years I have only seen small numbers. Occasionally, however, I have come across huge numbers, especially when breeding conditions are good.

      On one special occasion there must have been over 500 near Lake Hattah in NW Victoria – an amazing sight.

      More recently there was a huge population just south of here in Murray Bridge, South Australia. Along Lake Albert and near Meningie (just north of The Coorong) there were something like 5000 – 10,000 of them over about a 10km stretch. It was an amazing sight to see rafts of them running across the highway.

  3. Louise says:

    Trevor, I thought you might like to see some photos I took of the Tasmanian native hens. They are reasonably similar really, the eye colour looks different- I found the red of the Tasmanian birds quite disturbing! I do the occasional bird post, and used the Tasmanian hens today.

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