Friday, 4 December 2015

Birdlife Australia: Challenge Count

The Challenge Count occurs on the first weekend [inc Friday and Monday] in December when each Birdlife branch across Australia chooses a point and birds, within 40 kms of that point, every bird they can over any 24 hour period within that 4 days.

Heyfield Birdoes Bev, Deidre and Jack, with help from BLEG Eaglepoint gentlewoman Denise, chose today, Friday, and did sites in the west of the circle with the centre of Nicholson.

Our first site was Hollands Landing. We saw 55 species of bird including Nankeen Kestrel, Swamp Harrier, hundreds of swans, teal, stilts, whiskered tern, Charlie the Hollands Landing Striated Fieldwren, Caspians, Corms, Pelis, gulls, lots of Shelducks, multitudes of Red Wattlebirds, did I mention swans galore, egrets, spoonies, lapwings, sharpies, rosellas, noisy miners, pards, magpies and larks, BFCS, grey fans, pipits etc etc. On our way out to the Bengworden Road I spied a Spotted Harrier so full race stop and some ordinary photos but enough, upon perusal at lunchtime, to ID a Spotted Harrier. Black fingers, grey bird, red [perhaps nankeen] leading upper edge of the wing. Yes. Life tick for three of the party. Thumbs up.

Grey bird
Red leading edge on upper wing
Black fingers
After Hollands Landing we birded Swindells Road [Pied Currawong], Wattle Point [lunch and two Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos plus a distant Wedge-tailed Eagle (Bev)], Pattersons Swamp and Waddy Point [Red-capped Plover x 1]. Storm Point [not much, Common Bronzewing] and the corner of Waddy Point Road and Wattle Point Road [where we said goodbye to Denise and spotted two Wedge-tailed Eagles (Denise)]. By this time it was 3.30-ish so we headed home.

On the Bengworden Road near Deighton's Creek a harrier put up. Another instant full race stop and out with bins and cameras as it was a Spotted Harrier again -- perhaps and probably the same one we had spotted [!!] earlier just a few kilometres away. This bird thought we were the ants pants and did two flyovers for us before working its way east. Wow. ID is easy when they are this close.

Magic. f8/t2000 and be there!

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