Our sharp-eyed group of nine observers enjoyed a visit to the far north-east part of the Cooby Dam reserve, on a very warm Saturday 26 November. With filling of the dam over the past year or so, interesting waterways and reedy swamps were a feature of this location, as well as the perennial eucalypt-dominated woodland and patchy grassland.
Starting near the Cooby Creek bridge and eventually working on both sides, we accumulated 54 bird species within a 500 metre radius.
All our survey data can be seen here on Birdata.
On this occasion we tried the ‘embedded survey’ method, including a 2-hectare, 20-minute site at a shared centrepoint, which yielded nine species.
The full list of species seen is as follows
|Australian White Ibis
|Great Crested Grebe
|Little Black Cormorant
|Pacific Black Duck
A highlight today was breeding activity by seven species. In the drowned creek waterway, Great Crested Grebes were seen with one small young and Grey Teal with a brood of seven.
Bush-birds with nests or young were Superb Fairy-wren, Noisy Friarbird, Willie Wagtail, Red-browed Finch and White-throated Gerygone. We were surprised that the tiny gerygones were building their nest so high in a large, rough-barked Angophora tree but perhaps that would keep it safe from predatory goanas?
Other birds of interest were several Great Cormorants—very much a reservoir species in our region—three Dollarbirds and a group of Grey-crowned Babblers. The relatively scarcity of waterbirds was thought to be explainable by the abundance of wetland habitat both in our region at present and across inland eastern Australia (other local wetlands also have few waterbirds). It seems that waterbirds, like humans, enjoy a change of scenery even when the grass is green at home.
The area also featured many turtle nests where the young had long since hatched, and two koalas!