Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mud Walls Dam

This large farm dam is one of my favourite birding spots. It's situated North of Colebrook, on the road to Oatlands, about a kilometre short of the Midland Highway junction. I ventured up that way yesterday in the frost and fog. Possibly because the birds were "grounded" by the fog, there were some hundreds of duck on it. It's one of those spots that you're better off staying in the car, and in a temperature well below zero C., I didn't need any convincing! Duck included c80 Blue-winged Shoveller (one pictured), c20 Grey Teal, 60+ Chestnut Teal, c80 Black Duck, 50+ Australian Shelduck, c30 Wood Duck, few Black Swan, a solitary Hoary-headed Grebe, and a very jumpy flock of around 15 Great Cormorant. There were also several Black-fronted Plover. The Grey Teal are always interesting, as we seem to go months or longer without seeing any, and then they seem to suddenly appear. When I first started birding in Tasmania I didn't see any for some years, and I was beginning to wonder whether I just couldn't pick them from Chestnut Teal. There followed a number of wet Winters, and they appeared in some numbers, and I realised that in reasonable light, they could be quite easily picked by their lighter coloured heads. I noted a similar number at Lake Dulverton later yesterday morning, also 8 Hardheads.

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