Pleasingly, almost all recently hatched Australasian Grebes, Dusky Moorhens, Eurasian Coots and Black-winged Stilts recorded in December are now healthy juveniles. Water levels are very high in the main lakes, but lower in smaller water bodies.
Land-based bird species commonly seen were much less evident – for example only two New Holland Honeyeaters, one Little Wattlebird and no Rainbow Lorikeets.
However, there were Interesting/notable sightings:
– The first record of a nesting Hoary-headed Grebe since monthly surveys began
– At least two Brown Thornbills (one seen, another heard) indicate this species is now a likely resident
– Three Nankeen Night-Herons: one adult and one immature roosting in a eucalypt beside the dam, and an adult flying over FOWP compound towards Wharf Road
– An unconfirmed distant call, possibly a Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo
– A Common Bronzewing was observed earlier
Andrew McCutcheon, Euan Moore and Rob Youl
Weather: Mostly fine with light to moderate south west wind. Temp 18⁰ C – 23⁰ C. Entire survey route completed. Time start 0910, finish 1330
|Species||No. seen||Species||No. seen|
|Black Swan||3 + 2 juv (*1)||Little Corella|
|Australian Shelduck||Sulphur-crested Cockatoo|
|Australian Wood Duck||Rainbow Lorikeet|
|Pink-eared Duck||Musk Lorikeet|
|Australasian Shoveler||Little Lorikeet|
|Grey Teal||4||Purple-crowned Lorikeet|
|Chestnut Teal||66 + 4 juv||Eastern Rosella|
|Pacific Black Duck||26||Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo|
|Australasian Grebe||1 + 4 imm||Southern Boobook|
|Hoary-headed Grebe (1 on nest)||12||Barn Owl|
|Rock Dove||4||Sacred Kingfisher|
|Spotted Turtle-Dove||19||Superb Fairy-wren||30+ (13 blue)|
|Common Bronzewing||White-browed Scrubwren||2|
|Crested Pigeon||3||Brown Thornbill||2|
|Little Pied Cormorant||11 (*10)||White-plumed Honeyeater||30+ (*3)|
|Great Cormorant||*1||Noisy Miner|
|Little Black Cormorant||*9||Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater|
|Pied Cormorant||*2||Little Wattlebird||1|
|Australian Pelican||2||Red Wattlebird||13|
|Eastern Great Egret||New Holland Honeyeater||2|
|Cattle Egret||White-naped Honeyeater|
|White-faced Heron||1||Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike|
|Nankeen Night-Heron||3||White-winged Triller|
|Australian White Ibis||*1||Golden Whistler|
|Straw-necked Ibis||Grey Shrike-thrush|
|Royal Spoonbill||Grey Butcherbird|
|Black-shouldered Kite||Australian Magpie||1|
|Whistling Kite||Pied Currawong|
|Brown Goshawk||Grey fantail|
|Little Eagle||Willie Wagtail||9|
|Nankeen Kestrel||Little Raven||2|
|Brown Falcon||Satin Flycatcher|
|Peregrine Falcon||Flame Robin|
|Purple Swamphen||5||Rose Robin|
|Buff-banded Rail||Eurasian Skylark|
|Baillon’s Crake||Golden-headed Cisticola|
|Australian Spotted Crake||Australian Reed-Warbler||1|
|Black-tailed Native-hen||Little Grassbird|
|Dusky Moorhen||12 + 4 juv + 1D||Silvereye|
|Eurasian Coot (2 on nests)||30||Welcome Swallow||40+|
|Black-winged Stilt (3 on nests)||12 + 5 juv||Fairy Martin|
|Black-fronted Dotterel||5 + 1 juv||Common Blackbird||16|
|Red-kneed Dotterel||Common Starling||50+|
|Masked Lapwing||9 (*5)||Common Myna||27|
|Latham’s Snipe||Red-browed Finch|
|Crested Tern||House Sparrow||25+ (*4)|
|Pacific Gull||Australasian Pipit|
|Silver Gull||200 (*190)||European Greenfinch||4|
* seen at/along Yarra River only. D- Denotes dependent young plus number of separate broods.
Note: For species seen in large numbers, or for which accurate counting was difficult the number seen is rounded off to the nearest of tens or fives followed by a +.
Habitat: The water level in the Large Freshwater and Saltwater lakes remains very high, but has fallen considerably in the smaller water bodies and the dam. It appears that almost all the recently hatched young Australasian Grebes, Dusky Moorhens, Eurasian Coots and Black-winged Stilts recorded during the December survey have survived to become healthy juveniles according to the numbers counted this month.
Numbers of all land based bird species commonly seen in the park were much lower than the previous month. Most notable were only two New Holland Honeyeaters, one Little Wattlebird and noRainbow Lorikeets recorded today.
The first ever record of a Hoary-headed Grebe on a nest in the park today (since we commenced our regularly monthly surveys).
At least two Brown Thornbills (one seen and another heard) indicate this species is now likely to be resident in the park.
Three Nankeen Night-Herons, one adult and one immature were roosting in a eucalypt beside the dam, and an adult in flight over the track to the FOWP compound from Todd Road.
A distant call, possibly a Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo was heard but could not be confirmed.
|3 Dec||White-faced Heron||1||George Fotheringham|
|4 Dec||Eastern Great Egret||1||George Fotheringham|
|17 Dec||White-necked Heron||1||George Fotheringham|
|22 Dec||Common Bronzewing||1||George Fotheringham|