December Sightings

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

What a wonderful place Lake McIntyre is! It doesn't matter what time of the year or what time of the day you visit, there is always something interesting or unique to see. We had our first ever recorded Little Pied Cormorant breeding event this season. Remarkably the Cormorants nested in the same tree as two pairs of Royal Spoonbills, and fledged one young. Here is a photo of the young Cormorant sitting in the top of the nesting tree.

Other breeding events noticed have been a Blue-billed Duck (at least one duckling sighted with mum duck), Musk Duck, Red Wattlebird, Little Wattlebird, and numerous Purple Swamphen chicks following the parents around the edges of the lake.

The water level is still relatively high, which has attracted a growing number of Hardhead ducks, as well as managing to retain a few Freckled Duck, Australasian Shovelers, both Chestnut and Grey Teal, as well as a group of Little Black Cormorants. Once again there is a lack of visiting waders, probably because there are no mud flats for feeding on. 

We have in the past been home to up to thirty migrating Latham's Snipe. These small waders migrate all the way from northern Japan every spring, and stay in Australia until the end of summer, when they make the massive return flight all the way back to Japan. Each year we undertake three surveys to count the snipe at the lake. For the last couple of years we have not had any to count, but we have spotted at least two Latham's Snipe recently, and we are hoping they will still be around when we undertake the last survey for this season on January 18th. The snipe below was one of the two sighted in December.

Another surprising visitor to the lake in December was a Magpie Goose. Not long ago you would have had to travel to the Top End of Australia to see these wonderful birds. They have since been re-introduced to South Australia and Victoria, and Bool Lagoon is now the closest place to see them. While we have had Magpie Geese drop in to the lake before, to see them here you really do have to be in the right place at the right time.

As well as all the wonderful waterbirds, there are also the bush birds you see and hear as you sit in the BBQ areas, or walk around the lake. These birds include the Red Wattlebirds, Little Wattlebirds, Magpies, Grey Fantails and the beautiful Superb Fairy-wrens. So if you haven't been out and about at Lake McIntyre recently, do yourself a favour and go see something wonderful!

 

 

 

 

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