Cape Barren Geese
On Thursday we travelled south from Murray Bridge to the shores of Lake Alexandrina. The River Murray flows into this lake near Wellington before flowing out to sea near Goolwa. Just west of Wellington is a reliable spot to see Cape Barren Geese. They congregate in their hundreds here to feed on the local irrigated pastures.
Cape Barren Geese breed on the islands in Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania and also on the islands of South Australia and Western Australia. During the summer months they disperse to suitable grazing areas on the nearby mainland in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. In total there might be less than ten thousand birds, though some might dispute this figure.
On previous occasions I have counted over 500 birds in the one paddock where the above photo was taken making this locality a significant feeding ground for this species. Smaller flocks occur around the perimeter of Lakes Albert and Alexandrina, often in association with White Faced Herons, White and Straw Necked Ibis, Masked Lapwings, Australian Shelducks and the occasional flock of domestic geese.