Wednesday, January 18, 2012
At the weekend I went to Paiwalla Wetlands in the Murraylands with Birds SA. This privately owned wetlands is being restored from a cattle station, and consists of flooded pools alongside the River Murray. Before we met up, I went down to the river. There were a number of Mallee Ringnecks feeding here. While we were planning the route, there were Tree Martins and Welcome Swallows flying around. I managed this shot of a young swallow, and also another when some Little Black Cormorants flew over. As we walked around the wetland, a couple of Purple Swamphens crossed the path. There are lots of nestboxes put up, and some have been commandeered by Possums. The thistles are all just coming into full flower. The most common wader here is Red-kneed Dotterel, but they moved away from any disturbance. Welcome Swallows were using the perches, and Tree Martins perching in the bushes. Further along the river, three Yellow-billed Spoonbills were perched until they were flushed by a Swamp Harrier. Heading back to the car, we spotted this young Fan-tailed Cuckoo, and a fully occupied Willie Wagtail nest right over the path. We took lunch in another section of the reserve where this Soldier Wasp was busy burying its prey. In a small area of swamp, there were up to 4 Spotted and 4 Baillon's Crakes, giving good opportunities to compare the two, picking up on the definitive field marks. The barred undertail of the Baillons and White undertail of the Spotted. Finally, a Little Eagle kept us company as we ate lunch.