Rowes Lagoon

Wed 21 October 2015 09:00am

Martin Butterfield

With the kind cooperation of the leaseholder, the October Wednesday Walk will be to Rowes Lagoon, on 21 October. We will start from the rest area off the Federal Highway about 7km North of Collector at 9am on that date. Carpool from Canberra North Bowling Club at Turner, departing at 0815.

As there is about 150Ha of Snow Gum and Candlebark woodland to explore, as well as the Lagoon itself I would expect this to be a longer outing than many that we do: thus I suggest that folk pack some lunch and as it might be getting warm remember to bring some water.

People should also note that with the area being damp, and the weather no longer frosty, there is a good chance of meeting a snake or ten. I suggest that attendees wear gaiters or gumboots, and if seriously worried by reptiles do not attend this outing.

Post event report

Fifteen members and guests gathered at the rest area and, thanks to the kindness of the lessee, parked in the woodland nearby behind a locked gate.

After noting a few bush birds (including a pair of Australian King-Parrots we decided to give the Tiger Snakes a fair shot and moved out onto the bed of the Lagoon. Two White-necked Herons were seen immediately and a single White-faced Heron soon flew in. At least 8 Latham’s Snipe flushed as we walked towards thenNorthern end of the Lagoon, flying off at high speed and altitude. A small number of Australian White Ibis were seen and several flights of Straw-necked Ibis came in, totalling approximately 100 birds. Other waterbirds seen were 4 Masked Lapwings, 24 Australasian Swamphens and 2 pairs of Black Swans, with 2 downy cygnets. No bitterns were seen or heard.

The most obvious raptors for the day were Swamp Harriers, patrolling mainly the eastern side of the Lagoon. Allowing for birds spending a little time on the ground, and having three visible at the same time, we concluded there were at least 4 birds present. One was seen to fly in carrying a stick and landed in the reeds: probably nest building. Other raptors recorded were 2 Wedge-tailed Eagles, 1 Brown Goshawk, 1 Whistling Kite, 1 Nankeen Kestrel and 2 Brown Falcons.

The most surprising passerines seen were a pair of Flame Robins. Tree Martins were briefly visible as we approached the wooded areas in the face of quite strong winds. A White-throated Gerygone nest was spotted by an eagle-eyed member. A male Rufous Whistler was in full song. The woodland area was noticeable for a massive amount of eucalypt blossom – some identifiable as E. pauciflora(Snow Gum) while other, very floriferous, trees were more tricky, seeming to be peppermints. Despite this blossom, which attracted a good lot of potentially munchable insects, the only honeyeaters listed were a few Red Wattlebirds.

In total we recorded 38 species.

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