Friday, May 26, 2006

No Birdies, Only Birds!

John & ShirleyTongue write: We had a very productive day's birding on Thursday, with 65 species recorded, including one new to our Tassie list (Rainbow Lorikeet). We also saw a couple that we've only rarely seen here--Australian Hobby and Royal Spoonbill. The total was given a flying start at the large dam at the Forcett Lakes Golf Course. Walking around this dam we recorded 41 species on it, or nearby. This included at least 28 Australian Shelduck (see accompanying photo). We are not used to seeing such large numbers in the South of the state. Over 20 came soaring in together, swaying and circling, with very noisy wings. (Ed. I think this is known as "whiffling") One of them appeared aberrant in colouring, unless it was a juvenile. However, none of our books listed this colour pattern for juveniles. It seemed just like the rest, only it had a buff coloured chest, instead of the normal rich chestnut. Sadly, it was too distant to get a decent photo.. Has anyone else seen Shelducks with this colouring?
[ The Forcett Golf Course is on the right, a short distance down the Lewisham Rd, off the Arthur Highway, South of Sorell.]


BirdingTas said...

Hi John, Sounds like a great day! In the past there were quite large flocks of Shelduck on Orielton Lagoon during Autumn and Winter. Changes to the lagoon--sea water and Kelp Gulls--the numbers are now usually small. They have bred there.

Trevor said...

I always delight in seeing Australian Shelducks - their colours are simply stunning.

John Tongue said...

They are beautiful ducks, but the odd one amongst them was most unusual!