Jerrabomberra Wetlands

Sun 04 February 2018 07:30am

Sue Lashko

To celebrate World Wetlands Day (2 February), during this morning outing we will visit Kelly Swamp and Jerrabomberra Creek. Depending on numbers, the group may be divided into two, so a volunteer to lead a possible second group would be appreciated. Bring hat, sunscreen, water and, if you have one, a telescope. Meet at 7.30am in the carpark at the end of Dairy Road, Fyshwick. No booking required.

Post event report

To celebrate World Wetlands Day, COG held its annual outing, attended by 16 participants, many of whom were relatively new to birding.  The theme for 2018 was ‘Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future’ emphasising that wetlands are prized land, not wasteland, and they make cities liveable.  This certainly seems very pertinent in relation to Jerrabomberra Wetlands, which is undoubtedly the most visited birdwatching destination in the ACT.

While still in the carpark, we had a flypast by 28 Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos.  We then spent most of our time in the hides, enjoying the cool morning and the perfect light.  The highlight for most participants was seeing (a new bird for several people) 6 Latham’s Snipe, some very close, with 2 having what appeared to be a minor territorial dispute.  One bird faced away from us, revealing the strong rufous colour in its tail including in close-up scope views.  None of the birds had flags or bands.

Duck numbers and variety were low but it was pleasing to see one male Chestnut Teal.  A Royal Spoonbill demonstrated its distinctive feeding technique and its impressive plumes.  Australasian Swamphen and Dusky Moorhen with large offspring enabled close up looks of differing bill colours compared to adult birds, and Eurasian Coots obligingly stood out of the water so we could see their weird lobed toes.  At least 3 Black-fronted Dotterel put in an appearance.

Also seen from Ardea hide were 3 perched juvenile Dollarbirds, with no sign of the adults.

We then circled the wetlands, adding a number of bush and grassland birds.  One observer saw a European Greenfinch before it quickly disappeared.  A pair of Golden-headed Cisticola put on a great show, perching on various treetops, allowing great scope views as well as photographic opportunities; again, this was a new bird for several people.  A large begging young Australian Reed-Warbler sitting low in a Casuarina was periodically fed by its parents.

The total species count was 57.

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