Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Barossa Birding

This morning I made a quick trip to the Barossa Valley to cycle part of the Barossa Trail and also take in some birdwatching at the same time.

First stop was Tanunda water treatment ponds, and as usual the ponds were full of very flighty Pink-eared Ducks.

Along the trail by St Hallets winery there were plenty of common birds, including a male Superb Fairy-wren (in eclipse plumage) and White-plumed Honeyeaters.

After cycling for a few kilometres, I headed back to the car.  Just a few metres from the car I heard an unfamiliar call, and picked out a couple of Crested Shrike-tits high up in a River Red Gum.  After a while, they fed in a lower tree, but frustratingly, never gave any unobstructed views.  

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Browns Road and Laratinga Wetlands

Yesterday I took a drive through the Adelaide Hills to Browns Road at Monarto. This land has recently been added to the Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park.  I've not been here for about 8 years, and was well overdue for a return visit.

It was a very foggy drive, but the sun broke through as I arrived.  it was very quiet, but there were a few birds flitting around.  The only birds I managed decent shots of were Diamond Firetail, Peaceful Dove, White-winged Chough and Grey Currawong.

I called in to Laratinga Wetlands at Mount Barker on the way home, and as usual there were plenty of birds around.  On the ponds were Grey Teal and Freckled Duck with Purple Swamphen and Common Bronzewing on the margins.

On one pool was a mass of ducks in a feeding frenzy. There were Pacific Black Ducks, Grey Teal and Hardheads, but by far the most numerous were Australian Shovelers. 

Laratinga is one of the best spots to get up close and personal with crakes, and I got a selection of shots of one confiding Australian spotted Crake.