West Belconnen Ponds

Wed 21 September 2016 09:00am

Martin Butterfield

Meet at 9:00am at Percy Begg Circuit, Dunlop. The Meeting place is illustrated in this extract from Google Maps
1608167 99 West Belconnen Ponds
The basic plan is to circle the ponds and then either check out the Dunlop Grasslands or other waterbodies in the area.

Post event report

7, possibly deranged, members met at the appointed time and place in light rain. One of the early arrivals noted that she had mainly come to see if the walk was, as promised, going ahead regardless of the weather!

The first notable sight was a large (conservatively estimated at 100 birds) flock of Tree Martins hawking over the pond and surrounding lawns. A few (~15) Welcome Swallows were mixed in with them.

As we started our circuit 2 Mallard hybrids were noted (and three more seen later). 2 Black Swans were on or next to a nest on an island. This was our only breeding record for the day. Other waterfowl were very sparse as seems to be the case for most local water bodies at present.

The highlight of the outing was 5 Latham’s Snipe flying out of the tussocks at the Northern end of the pond, flying to a small island in the middle of the pond.

In total we recorded 33 good species plus the hybrid. A full list can be found on eBird.

The heavy rain only stared when we got nearly to the cars. While one observer’s notebook started to dissolve, the sign on sheet remained intact. The waterproof cover on my phone showed its worth, allowing me to use the app throughout.

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