Category Archives: Cairn Curran

On the lookout

I’m on the lookout for waders.

Over the next month or so we should see the arrival of small numbers of migratory waders from the northern hemisphere to Cairn Curran Reservoir. It’s been an ‘average’ winter rainfall-wise and the storage is filling nicely (now up to ~ 47%). Water is starting to cover some of the low lying flats and this will stimulate some habitat creation over coming weeks.

Red-necked Stints and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers are regular spring visitors, along with small numbers of other species such as Latham’s Snipe and Common Greenshank. A party of Black-winged Stilts was seen enjoying feeding amongst the aquatic vegetation at Joyce’s Creek over the weekend. This species isn’t a migrant but will depart the district during dry times, arriving back from ‘who knows where’ when conditions are suitable.

Black-winged Stilt, Joyce’s Creek @ Cairn Curran, 13th September 2020

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Lapwings at the lake

There are numerous pairs of Masked Lapwings breeding around Cairn Curran Reservoir at present.

The first chicks have hatched and there are lots of small ‘runners’ about , always under the watchful eyes of the parents. These recently hatched chicks popped up in front of me as I strolled the margins of the lake earlier in the week.

Masked Lapwing chick, Cairn Curran Reservoir, 26th August 2020

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The next generation

Masked Lapwing in flight displaying the tell-tale wing spurs

Darter in a good light

It’s been a lean week for outings so this Australasian Darter seen at Joyce’s Creek has been a highlight.

Still hearing Fan-tailed Cuckoos around town but have yet to see one ‘in the flesh’.

Australasian Darter (female), Joyce’s Creek, 9th July 2020

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Black-fronted Dotterel

Disturbing the peace

It was still evening at the lake yesterday. There are good numbers of Black Swans at present, along with a few Black-winged Stilts, Pacific Black Ducks, Australian Shelducks and Yellow-billed Spoonbills.

It was wonderful to be able to watch the swans preening and stretching – the idyll only broken by the sight and sound of Eurpoean Carp breaking the surface at regular intervals.

Black Swan , Cairn Curran Reservoir, 7th July 2020

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European Carp

Always watchful

Time on …

The last few minutes before dusk often produce the most marvellous light.

Just so last evening at Joyce’s Creek – the sun appeared momentarily from behind gathering storm clouds – minutes later it dropped below the horizon.

Australian Pelicans, Joyce’s Creek, 19th June 2020

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Live streaming

Australian Shelducks are well-known for their V-formation flying as well as their tendency to form long, often ragged flight skeins – occasionally numbering hundreds of individuals.

At present they are the most abundant duck on Cairn Curran, with small numbers of Grey Teal, Wood Duck and Pacific Black Duck keeping them company.

Australian Shelducks @ Joyce’s Creek, 5th June 2020

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Australian Pelicans

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Female Australian Darter

A darter in the mirror

Late yesterday afternoon Cairn Curran was like a mirror.

This female Australasian Darter ‘shattered’ the illusion in spectacular fashion.

Australasian Darter, Cairn Curran Reservoir, 5th June 2020

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Golden Brown …

… texture like sun – late afternoon observations from Joyces’ Creek.

Golden-headed Cisticola, Joyce’s Creek, 15th May 2020

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Australian Shelducks

Brown Quail

A nod to Dave Greenfield (29/3/1949 – 3/5/2020) keyboard genius from The Stranglers.

Falco portrait

Just this today … Brown Falcon Falco berigora, a portrait in monochrome.

I’ve observed a few raptors in our skies in recent days – Collared Sparrowhawk and Australian Hobby in town and this Brown Falcon at Picnic Point.

Brown Falcon, Picnic Point, 12th May 2020

Mixed bag

Quite an assortment of birds last evening at Picnic Point.

The Zebra Finches were a highlight – a flock of around a dozen – the first I’ve seen for some months.

Brown Falcon, Picnic Point, 12th May 2020

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Male Flame Robin

Female Flame Robin

Galahs heading north over Picnic Point

Zebra Finch – female

Zebra Finch – male

Picnic Point in the golden hour