Craig Morley…

on behalf of the Geelong Field Naturalists Bird Group members who participated

Another enjoyable late afternoon-early evening was enjoyed by some keen and intrepid observers participating in the second BirdLife Australia Bittern listening survey for spring 2015. No Bitterns were heard on this follow-up survey.

Once again observers took the opportunity to have a co-ordinated survey a significant portion of the Reedy Lake/Hospital Swamp system with sites listed below surveyed on Sunday 8th November.

Some of the highlights were a small flock of Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos drifting south across Baenschs Lane and Little Grassbirds, Australian Reed-Warblers and Golden-headed Cisticolas continued to be vocal at most sites. Whiskered Terns were once more numerous across the sites.

Whitehorse Road produced several Spotted Crakes and a Lewin’s Rail, that came out to feed at dusk, provided much delight and excitement to observers, as did a Latham’s Snipe at Fitzgeralds Road. And an Australian Hobby “motoring through” after flying insects, well after sunset, gave one observer a huge thrill.

Magpie Geese, in low numbers, were reported by observers at Woods Road and Moolap Station Road. Also numerous Swamp Harriers were observed, though the concerted display flights reported during the Bittern survey of 17th October seem to have diminished.

The movements of the Straw-necked Ibis and Australian White Ibis to from the central reed beds continue to add evidence that these species are breeding in the central reed bed of Reedy Lake.

Unprecedented numbers of Brolgas in the system were a highlight of the first Bittern Survey conducted on 17 October, with three pairs being accounted for and a seventh Brolga being observed in the Reedy Lake/Hospital Swamp system on that Saturday night. Subsequently the pair off Moolap Station Road/Woods Road was reported to be moving about with a half-grown juvenile. On the more recent second Bittern Survey evening there were fewer records of Brolgas; one heard after dusk from Woods Road and pair flying to roost from Baenschs Lane at sunset.

Once more a sincere thank you to everyone who contributed, their time, effort and skills. Your willingness to help is greatly appreciated!

If you would like to learn more about the birds seen and heard on Sunday around the Reedy Lake/Hospital Swamp part of the Lower Barwon Wetlands, please follow the relevant links provided below to the Eremaea eBird lists .

Hospital Swamps—Baenschs Lane

Reedy Lake—Woods Road

Reedy Lake—Moolap Station Road

Reedy Lake—Whitehorse Road

Reedy Lake—Fitzgerald Road