Monday, February 23, 2009

Recent Sightings

For those who missed out on the Australian Crakes at Gould's Lagoon last summer, it's time to try again. I doubt that these crakes ever leave the area, but with the low water level at the moment, they're probably forced more into the open. I photographed the one at left from the roadway, at the point where the suburban road meets the main thoroughfare. You may have to be patient, and I would suggest that fairly early morning is your best bet. They seem to prefer the wet mud and usually keep to the shadowed areas where possible.
Noted and photographed a single Double-banded Plover at Pipeclay Lagoon this morning (at left), a recent arrival from New Zealand. No doubt the first of many that will spend the cooler months around Tasmania and the east coast of the Mainland, before returning to breed in NZ. It was keeping company with a loose flock of around 20 Red-capped Plover.

8 comments:

mick said...

Both very nice photos but I especially liked the DB Plover still showing remnants of breeding plumage.

Duncan said...

Saw a couple of double-bandeds myself the other day Alan. Good to see you posting again.

Kris said...

That Double-banded Plover is particularly handsome...

John Tongue said...

Hi Alan,
The Crakes we saw at Gould's a while back were particularly shy, as it sounds like this one was. Last year we made a mad dash to Melbourne to see the Australian Painted Snipe that had turned up at the Edithvale wetland. There were a number of Australian Spotted Crakes there that were anything but shy! They were bold as brass, wandering around all over the mud in broad daylight, and in close proximity to everyone! Our Tassie birds must be more reserved!

BirdingTas said...

Hi John,
I think it's amazing that the crakes survive here at all, especially with passing and through foot traffic, including dog walkers, a few who insist on letting their dogs off lead, closeby vehicular traffic and suburbia to contend with. They also share this small area with Swamphens and Native Hens, neither exactly good neighbours to have!
I seem to recall that Edithvale Wetland is surrounded by a chain link fence and you may only observe from a hide (not always open), which would provide much better conditions for them.
If you're patient (and lucky!), they will in fact walk right up to you. But they can be skittish, and an unusual or loud noise, or an alarm call from the 'neighbours', will cause them to disappear very quickly!
I suspect that yesterday's rain will make seeing them here more difficult for a while, but we badly needed the rain.

john Tongue said...

Amen to that! (about the rain. We badly need it up here, too. We got nothing yesterday, and everything is VERY dry.

Penny said...

Hi Alan, Yesterday at Gould's Lagoon I photographed a Rainbow Lorikeet feeding a musk Lorikeet.I'm too much of an amateur to know if it was an adult or juvenile Musk. I'm wondering if these two species interbreed.

BirdingTas said...

Hi Penny,
I have no personal knowledge of lorikeet interbreeding, but a look through Forshaw's "Australian Parrots" suggests that they do. I gather that in aviary situations it is quite frequent, particularly Rainbow/Scaly-breasted (absent in the wild in Tasmania). Crosses with Musk Lorikeets also occurs. Presumably, the Rainbow, lacking a suitable partner, settled for a Musk. I would suggest that this cross is rare in the wild, and hope it stays that way!