Wednesday Walk to Pryor Arboretum and Acacia Inlet

Wed 16 March 2016 12:00am

Martin Butterfield

Meet at 8:30 of 16 March 2016 at the National Rock Garden, accessed by the Arboretum turnoff form the Tuggeranong Parkway..

160217 Venue for March

About 3km of flat walking.

Post event report

On a pleasantly mild day 21 members and guests, including a visitor from Alberta, attended the walk. Both attributes were an improvement from the 4 members (including the leader and spouse) who were present on the last WW to the site when the temperature was also 4 and snow showers fell!

It was slightly surprising that several long-standing members of the group had never visited the Pryor Arboretum before. Perhaps they had been dissuaded by the weedy and blackberry-rich vegetation. That has been subject to a lot of improvement in the recent past and with ready access to the Lake is now a pleasant area. For the day as a whole we recorded 46 species, compiling separate checklists for the Pryor Arboretum area and the Acacia Inlet segment.

Our first section was a loop of the Pryor Arboretum, mainly close to the shore of Lake Burley Griffin. A good selection of the commoner waterbirds were with some debate about the boundaries of the site. 4 Silver Gulls sitting on the buoy line at Scrivener Dam were excluded but we were able to count the 3 Gulls which flew past much closer to our position. An Australasian Reed-Warbler was seen in the fringing reeds.

In terms of landbirds, no rarities were seen. The most interesting sightings were three species of columbid (Feral Rock Dove, Crested Pigeon and Common Bronzewing) and a group of 23 White-winged Choughs. To achieve that size it is likely it was 2 clans travelling together.

A total of 38 species were seen on this segment.

The second section of the outing, down the well-used bike path to Acacia Inlet Park, was initially quite devoid of birds in the long Themeda grassland. A Grey Currawong was foraging in the ribbons off a Eucalyptus viminalis beside the path. On arriving at the Park a modest flock of Dusky Woodswallows were hawking over the canopy. The canopy was well occupied with a large number (estimated as 19) of White-plumed Honeyeaters with a handful of sedentary Yellow-faced Honeyeaters. Several Australasian Swamphens were grazing in the shorter grass and 11 Eurasian Coots were swimming in the Lake.

28 species were seen in this section, 8 of them being additions to the trip list.

During the species call it was noticeable how few Summer migrants were seen or heard. No Noisy Friarbird, Tree Martin, Leaden Flycatcher, Dollar nor Cuckoo of any species. Has the recent hot dry weather caused them to vote with their wings or were we just unlucky?

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