Monday, 13 October 2014

Regional Final of the National Australian Warbling Championship at Lake Hamilton

The Australian Reed-warbler.

"Outstanding singer of the summer reed beds". Pizzey & Knight

"Loud, melodious voice". Slater

Lake Hamilton is a permanent waterbody fed by the Grange Burn. Friends live right next to it and, whilst staying there last week, I was able to do the 4km circuit on two occasions. It is an excellent amenity for walkers, runners and bikers with an all-weather path circumnavigating the lake and a state-0f-the -art playground, rowing course and sheds and boat ramp for sail boats. It is mostly lined with reeds but there are some areas where the grass banks go directly to the water. It is all contained by a ten metre wall containing a floodway with a pair of resident Black-fronted Dotterels.

Dotterel on patrol

On my second circuit of the lake I was entertained by Australian Reed-warblers every ten metres for about a kilometre. It certainly seemed that there were 100! And they were all singing their hearts out. I have no idea how a female would chose a suitable mate but there were plenty to choose from. This also meant there were photo opportunities galore. And the winner, going on to the state finals at Albert Park Lake in Melbourne next month is .....

Arwold, the Australian Reed-warbler going full bore

Other finalists included ...

Pippa the Australasian Pipit
Beak too full of nesting material for the decibels required
Graeme the European Goldfinch
Colour is his strong suit/suite
Marvin the Musk Duck
Disqualified for making too much water splash

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