24 October 2015
Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers
Forty members gathered at Newport Lakes Reserve in perfect weather conditions and watched numerous birds in the car park, including a female Rufous Whistler, Silvereyes and Rainbow Lorikeets. Many of the eucalypts in the reserve were flowering, where the dominant birds were Red Wattlebirds and New Holland Honeyeaters.
On the lake a male Australasian Darter was perched alongside Great, Little Black and Little Pied Cormorants. A small white bird flew across the water and perched near to the group causing much excitement, but after careful consideration it was reluctantly concluded that it was an aviary escape, probably a Canary! Some members saw a Sacred Kingfisher and others a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, but everyone saw and heard an Australian Reed-Warbler perched on a tall reed singing beautifully for a considerable time (view the video):
Whistling Kite and Collared Sparrowhawk were the only raptors. Fifty-one species were recorded for Newport Lakes.
Most of the group then drove down Maddox Street to the shore for lunch. It was high tide which limited the number of waders to be seen at the beach, though Black Swans, Australian Pelicans and gulls were plentiful. A walk through Jawbone Reserve was most productive, with good views of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Red-kneed Dotterels, Black-winged Stilts, Hardheads and numerous other ducks, of which Blue-billed were the most unusual. A Buff-banded Rail and a swimming snake added to the interest. Several Royal Spoonbills were displaying their spectacular breeding ‘hairstyles’ and the many cormorants were in splendid plumage. A pair of White-fronted Chats was seen towards the end of the walk.
A few members returned for a second look at the shore and were rewarded with a great view of a Caspian Tern perched on the breakwater, being mobbed by Silver Gulls, as well as a flock of Bar-tailed Godwits in the distance. Fifty-eight species were recorded for Jawbone with a magnificent 76 species for the day.
See the bird list: BM Oct 2015 Bird List Newport Lakes & Jawbone Reserve