Thursday, 18 April 2013

Australasian Grebe

The local wetlands is foremost a dog park and as the cool weather advances, a quick scan of the reeds sometimes reveals more lost tennis balls than waterbirds. However, the hardy, usual suspect birds remain: Pacific Black Ducks, the two Black Swans, a Little Pied Cormorant or two, often a White-faced Heron and bush birds fly in to drink and hang out with mates such as Crested Pigeons and Red-rumped Parrots. Peewees drink and bathe often. This morning a Willie Wagtail passed through briefly; a rare occurrence as they favour the mountain reserve and northern Aspinall St in this area. The Hardhead ducks that were at the pond for at least six months, have all moved on now, as have the Reed Warblers who left a couple of months back. Still, for anyone with time and patience, there is a bit more to daily pond life than first meets the eye. For one thing, an Australasian Grebe has been skirting about the reeds for the last few days, before quickly scuttling to the centre of the pond any time I approach. Another discovery, is that the Buff-banded Rail (BBR) is still about. I saw it close today but it flies immediately into dense grasses at the sight of a person. I have seen a BBR about 4 or 5 times since the famous BBR rescue mission and am very glad to know they are still in the area. Despite popular opinion, I don't even spend that much time at the pond myself, so who knows what other mysterious birds pass through or are hidden deep in the reeds and grasses.

These past few days are the first time I've seen a grebe at this pond, though they’ve been recorded here by others. You see it, don’t you? The smudge right in the centre?

All right, here's another view of it through the reeds. It's not a great bird to photograph directly into sunlight. Grebes really are strange looking birds and I have a theory that Doctor Seuss may have based Thing One and Thing Two from The Cat in the Hat on them. 

One day I will count the species seen on local walks. I think it is around 50.

And some pretty looking reeds with no grebes in sight.

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