A few days ago I wrote about a recent visit to Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia. During that visit I spent a short time birding in the Victoria Park, a delightful spot next to the local swimming pool and caravan park. Because of the artificial lake and trees planted in the park there is usually a good range of local birds, including a few water birds in and around the lake.
Included in this range of birds are a few introduced species, notably and large flock of Mallard ducks. I have shown several in today’s photos. In the photo below is a completely white duck, species unknown. If any of my readers can enlighten me I will label it correctly. It is obviously an introduced species, one of many ducks kept in captivity here in Australia. The closest I can come to a name is Pekin Duck. Any ideas, please?
A few weeks ago we went on a short holiday to Peterborough in mid-north of South Australia. We were visiting relatives. Normally I try to get out into the surrounding countryside to do some birding, but on this occasion it was bitterly cold, overcast and not at all inviting outdoors. It was so much more inviting to stay by the fireplace with a good book, and the obligatory hot drink. This changed on the last day of our visit. The sun finally emerged – but it was still very cold. I braved the elements any way.
The only spot I went to was Victoria Park, an artificial lake and grassed area next to the local caravan park and swimming pool – I have included a photo below. The area has been planted up with a variety of native trees and shrubs and so it attracts quite a few of our native birds, including a variety of water birds. On this occasion I was pleased to see about 80 Black-tailed Native-hens feeding on the lawned area around the small lake. They allowed me to take a few photos of them from the car but became a little skittish when I emerged to get closer shots.
On a few occasions I have also seen Apostlebirds here, but not on this occasion. This is one species which is not common anywhere in South Australia. Peterborough township is one of just a handful of places where it can be reliably seen in this state. It is quite common in New South Wales and parts of Victoria, however.
Because it was so cold I didn’t see or hear many other birds, but some I did record include:
- Pacific Black Duck
- Australian Wood Duck
- Magpie Lark
- Crested Pigeon
- Red wattlebird
- Little Raven
- Australian Magpie
Last week I had a medical procedure in a hospital in North Adelaide. The procedure – an endoscopy and a colonoscopy – went well and nothing nasty was found, though the lead up to it was challenging. Being on a fast for 25 hours was testing, as was the mixture one has to take to purge one’s alimentary canal, but I survived to tell the tale.
On my way to the hospital we had to pass Elder Park on the banks of the Torrens River immediately to the north of the CBD. This wide expanse of lawned area was being occupied by hundreds of Australian Wood Ducks, all grazing on the grass. I was driving so I was not able to get an accurate estimate of the numbers, but it seemed to be at least 200 or more.
And I didn’t have my camera either, so here is a photo of a family of Australian Wood Ducks taken at the Mt Annan Botanic Gardens in Sydney.