Sydney Trip report June 2011
I’ve been really slow getting these trip reports written and posted here; life has been busy and demanding. (I’m supposed to be retired – whatever that means.)
On our return leg from a holiday in Sydney in June of this year we stopped for one night at Narrandera. It’s an area I’d like to stay in for a week or more. The caravan park looks very inviting; we stayed in a cabin but I’d like to take our caravan there and other places along the way. In the caravan park office I gathered together several free brochures on highlights of the area, including three on birding in the region. It has a very rich and interesting range of birds present.
One of the places mentioned on one pamphlet was the wetland area just off the main highway on the southern approach to the town. On our way out we spent about 20 minutes here but the bird life was not very forthcoming. It was very cold, overcast, threatening to rain and windy. The light was also very poor so I didn’t manage much in the way of bird photos. The list of birds was also rather poor:
Little Pied Cormorant
Australasian Grebe (see photo below)
My wife and I join a friend on a morning walk every weekday. On our way home we pass a small dam about half a kilometre from our home. This dam was constructed on a vacant block of land by our local council several years ago. It stores storm water from the nearby streets. Some areas near here have a flood mitigation problem only discovered about five years ago during an extremely heavy downpour one afternoon. The council workers pump water from this dam to use in watering street trees and to dampen road works where necessary.
I’ve kept an eye on this small reservoir ever since it first contained water. Generally all I see is a few Pacific Black Ducks, Straw-necked Ibis and a collection a Masked Lapwings (which have been seen breeding there). Welcome Swallows are also regular visitors, and I am sure the local population of White-winged Choughs use the wet mud on the edge of the water to construction their mud nests. One one occasion I also saw several Black-tailed Native-hens.
A few mornings ago I was surprised to see several Black Swans gracing the water. This species is not all that common around here, though I have seen several recently at the nearby Rocky Gully Wetlands, about three kilometres to the east.
One day I will get around to making a list of all the species I’ve seen in this dam.
And then I will need to find a way of encouraging the swans to fly over our land so I can count them on my garden list.