Wednesday Walk to the ponds of Coombs and North Weston

Wed 15 June 2016 09:00am

Martin Butterfield

The Wednesday Walk for June will be to the water quality control ponds along the Molonglo. The North Weston ponds are well known and Edgeworth Pond is becoming so, but the central pond (Terry Connolly Pond?) is new Territory.
160518 COG Coombs and North Weston
We will meet at North Weston (off Kirkpatrick St. near the RSPCA) at 9:00 and car pool into the minimum number of cars before driving to Edgeworth Pond. After birding that water we’ll walk (about 3km, pretty flat) along the track below the houses checking out the habitat above the River ending up back at North Weston to do those ponds. I’d expect to finish about 12 noon.

Post event report

18 members and guests gathered at the North Weston Ponds and sorted ourselves into a small number of cars for the sort drive to Edgeworth Pond to start the walk. It was still cool, but bright sunshine and no wind made for pleasant walking conditions.

Crossing the street to look at the ponds a few Coots and Australasian Grebes were seen on the water before attention was grabbed by a flock of birds feeding on a grassed area. While the birds were rather nervous it was concluded that there were at least 12 Australasian Pipits, 8 Flame Robins and 15 White-fronted Chats in the flock. A number of Superb Fairy-wrens and 2 Golden-headed Cisticolas were foraging in flax plants a little further on.

As we crossed the wall at the end of the pond a further group of 10 Flame Robins were seen perched on a fence. We walked out to a lookout over the Molonglo Valley watching 2 immature Black-shouldered Kites flying between perches. At least 15 Red-browed finches were feeding in a creek bed below the walkway. A total of 26 species were recorded for this site.

We re-joined the road around the outside of the suburb but soon dropped back down to the fire trail (since there was no room for birds between the McMansions). There was not surprisingly a good flow in the Molonglo but few birds. 3 Double-barred Finches were seen in a deciduous tree and 2 White-faced Herons were exploring a small pond. Another water quality control pond, alongside Annabelle View was checked, but again there were few waterbirds present. 15 species were recorded on this sector.

A short stroll along the road brought us back to the North Weston Ponds. At the risk of repeating myself there were few waterbirds present. 3 Hardheads were the only ducks and a highlight was a decision that the grebes present here were Hoary-headed Grebes. Four more White-fronted Chats were seen, first feeding on the ground and then perching conveniently for photos on a fence. 14 species were recorded here.

We totalled 36 species for the outing.

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