Friday, August 7, 2009

Walka Reserve

The historic Waterworks, just outside Maitland, features a beautiful old pumphouse with highly decorative brickwork, and a lake with extensive walking tracks through the surrounding bush.

I met up with Maureen and we started off along the miniature railway track alongside the lake, hiding in the shrubbery from time to time to coax the ducks, swans and grebes into coming back closer to shore. The grevilleas were in full flower and little birds chased insects amongst the blossoms. There were few honeyeaters though. We did the whole circuit focusing our lenses alternately on the lake and the bush.

White-winged Choughs are a favourite of mine. When I lived in one of the new southern suburbs of Canberra a group would come by regularly and take food from my hand. They are highly social birds, living in family groups of up to twenty birds. Nesting and breeding is communal, with all birds helping to raise the young. Choughs spend most of their time on the ground, foraging for worms, insects, grain, and snails in a loose group. They walk with a distinctive swagger, and call softly to one another every few seconds. When one bird finds something special they all come running to share it.
Bird list:
White winged Chough (pictured above)
Blue billed Duck
Musk Duck
Black Swan
Australian Shelduck
Australian Wood Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Australasian Shoveller
Grey Teal
Chestnut Teal
Australasian Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Little Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Australian Pelican
White faced Heron
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Australian White Ibis
Royal Spoonbill
Purple Swamphen
Dusky Moorhen
Eurasian Coot
Spur-winged Plover
Crested Pigeon
Eastern Rosella
Superb Fairywren
White-browed Scrubwren
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Red Wattlebird
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Golden Whistler
Grey Fantail
Willie Wagtail
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Red-browed Finch
Australian Magpie
Australian Raven
Welcome Swallow
Common Myna

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