Category Archives: Cairn Curran

David and Goliath

These tiny Red-capped Plovers were dwarfed by the appearance overhead of an immature White-bellied Sea-eagle … seen on a brief visit to Cairn Curran late yesterday.

Red-capped Plovers (female at front), Cairn Curran, 20th June 2017.

Male Red-capped Plover (at front)

White-bellied Sea-eagle (immature)

How many pelicans?

Spotted this impressive flock of Australian Pelicans last evening near Picnic Point … one of the largest congregations I’ve seen for some time on the lake.

What’s your count?

Australian Pelicans, Picnic Point, 31st May 2017

How many pelicans?

Is that a youngster at the front?

Joining the dots

We are blessed to have such variety of local birds. Within the space of a few metres during a walk at Cairn Curran at the weekend I encountered three different species of ‘dotterels’ – the resident Black-fronted Dotterel and Red-capped Plovers and a single Double-banded Plover. The latter is a winter migrant from its breeding grounds in New Zealand – this amazing little wader crosses the Tasman twice each year!

Black-fronted Dotterels, Cairn Curran, 27th May 2017

Double-banded Plover

Red-capped Plover

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Grebe watching

Australasian Grebes are wary birds.

I often come across them on both small farm/bush dams and on larger wetlands.

This one, a non-breeding adult, was observed yesterday on a small farm dam beside Cairn Curran Reservoir. Approaching close and watching quietly from the car the grebe eventually became comfortable with my presence as it alternated between feeding and preening. This sequence captures a brief bout of wing-stretching – a behaviour that I’ve seen but not photographed previously.

Australasian Grebe, Cairn Curran Reservoir, 27th May 2017

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That’s different!

Great Egrets are a common sighting at Cairn Curran – I’ve seen individual birds regularly over the past few months.

Great Egret, Cairn Curran Reservoir, 26th May 2017

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Their smaller relative, the Little Egret Egretta garzetta, is an entirely different story. Over the past ten years I can only recall seeing it once, and adult fishing near the dam wall at Tullaroop Reservoir. Yesterday afternoon after photographing the Great Egret (above) I spotted a small, white ‘heron’ feeding in the shallows – sure enough it was a juvenile Little Egret. This species is renowned for its quick, dashing movements when feeding – I was fortunate to capture few images before it flew off across the lake. I certainly hope to spend some time with it soon in better light.

Little Egret … only the second I’ve seen locally in the last ten years!

Lake views

This set is from a visit to the lake a week ago … what the camera didn’t capture was a pair of Great Crested Grebes and a White-breasted Sea-eagle. You’ll have to take my word on the more exotic sightings!

Black Swan, Cairn Curran, 13th May 2017

Grey Teal

White-faced Heron

Whistling Kite

Stalking the stalker

This White-faced Heron gave a beautiful cameo performance at Picnic Point on Sunday afternoon.

Observing quietly from my car, positioned strategically on the boat ramp, the heron moved along the shoreline towards me … then with lightning speed snared  a small Redfin from the shallows.

White-faced Heron, Picnic Point, 14th May 2017

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