A few weeks ago I participated in the Global Big Day. This was a special birding day held all over the world. Participants went out birding in their local patch. This could be your own garden, a nearby park, or a little further away. I decided to visit six of my favourite local birding sites, starting with my own garden. It was an interesting and relaxing afternoon. I visited several spots I had not been to in quite a while. Naturally, my camera came with me.
One of my birding sites was Sturt Reserve here in Murray Bridge, South Australia. This reserve, about five kilometres from my home, incorporates large grassed picnic areas along the River Murray. At this point, the river is quite wide and affords good views of quite a range of water birds, including ducks, coots, swamphens, cormorants, darters, pelicans and grebes.
The picnic areas have some old growth gum trees which are favoured spots for a range of parrots, cockatoos, honeyeaters and magpies. To the south of the reserve, there are several shallow lagoons. These generally fill up due to run-off from land nearby during rain. They would also be filled if the river ever flooded. There may even be a way for water to enter these lagoons directly from the river, but I am not aware if this actually happens.
These lagoons also attract a range of water birds. On my special day out birding, I saw Black Swans (see photo above).
As well as the swans I also recorded the following species:
- Pacific Black Ducks,
- Grey Teal,
- Pink-eared Ducks,
- Purple Swamphen
- Eurasian Coots
- Dusky Moorhen
- Black-winged Stilts
Please note that if you click on any of the above list of birds, it will take you to more articles and photos of those species.
Last December we visited our daughter who teaches in Clare in the mid-north of South Australia. One afternoon I wandered down the road to Lake Inchiquin which is next the Melrose Park on the northern edge of town. Over recent years I have often visited this top little spot to do a little birding.
Over recent years this lake has often been almost dry due to the extended drought conditions we’ve experienced over that period. This last year’s good rains has seen the lake return to capacity again. The birds have also returned, so I try to find a half hour or so to check it out every time we visit our daughter.
On this occasion I saw a few Pacific Black Ducks, Chestnut Teal, Grey Teal, plenty of Eurasian Coot, several Masked Lapwings and a solitary Darter. On the opposite shore a single Great Egret patrolled the lake edges, especially near the reeds. Another species was a Yellow-billed Spoonbill but I didn’t manage a photo of the one bird seen flying overhead.
Away from the water the birdlife was just as interesting, with Laughing Kookaburras, Little Corellas, Galahs and dozens of Rainbow Lorikeets. In nearby trees I saw Noisy Miners, Red Wattlebirds and White-plumed Honeyeaters. Standing quite still for about 5 minutes I watched a Mallee Ringneck feeding on the seeds of some weeds growing on the bank of the lake.