Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Family Outing to Waterworks Reserve.

On Wednesday of last week, before the very welcome rain, we had a family outing to the Waterworks Reserve. For some reason, I never really think of this reserve as being particularly good for birding. Perhaps it's because this is a justifiably popular park, with barbecue and children's play facilities, and I don't generally think of crowds and birding as being especially compatible! By coincidence, Don Knowler, writing in his column in the Mercury Newspaper yesterday, considers it one of the best sites for birding in the Hobart area, and I'm sure he is right.
We were there early and decided to walk up to the Gentle Annie Falls, although the amount of water in the creek suggested that there wasn't likely to be any "falls". The chances of taking any photographs or seeing many birds, seemed slim, as we had our 5 year old granddaughter with us, and her idea of quiet and mine aren't quite the same, but it was a family outing! In fact, perhaps because so many people do use this track, the birds have become accustomed to them, and they were fairly accomodating. Superb Fairy-wrens, Silvereyes, Grey Fantail, and a less than retiring Tasmanian Scrubwren (photo at top right) were seen and some photographed in the first few metres. On the western side of the hill, we could hear calling Pallid, Fantailed and Shining Bronze Cuckoos, Satin Flycatchers, a passing flock of Strongbilled Honeyeaters and a strident Yellow-throated Honeyeater. Moments later, a Brush Bronzewing flew out of the creekbed, missing all by inches, followed by 2 Green Rosellas. I elected to stay at the bridge hoping to see Tasmanian Thornbills, which turned out to be in vain, although I'm sure they occur here. I also omitted to see which way the rest of the family went, and in the event, chose the wrong way and ended up back at the park, mainly because I was rather anxious not to miss out on all the food. There are other priorities in life apart from birding. Wandering back, I recorded several other species including Tasmanian Native Hens and Grey Currawongs and then spent sometime watching the Kelp Gulls and their diving approach to the water, noting a solitary immature Pacific Gull among them.
Later, reunited with the family
(and the food), I watched a family of Black Currawongs, they too feeding their young, only a matter of metres away. The youngsters begging, with wings 'shivering', before each feed, which consisted primarily of Native Cherries, as you may see in the image. Not long before we left, the Forest Raven (photo at bottom) flew into a nearby tree, and did verbal battle with several others in the area. This gave a fairly rare chance of getting within 'camera' range. We recorded 32 species in all, and that was really without putting any real effort into it, and that included 6 Tasmanian endemics. I think it could rightly claim to be one of the best spots for birding around Hobart. An early start is recommended.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Blogg . Photographs are interesting as is the information.