26 August 2017
Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers
Species count: 64
It was a fine but cool morning as 42 members set off to walk around Jells Park Lake. A lone Nankeen Night-Heron was sighted through the bushes and on closer investigation this proved to be a group of four adults and one juvenile. An early distant view of a single Tawny Frogmouth was later followed by two more separate views of pairs of them, making a total of five individuals for the day.
There was a great deal of activity around the lake with dozens of Australian White Ibis nesting on the islands and on the edges of reed beds, often on communal rafts which they had constructed from dead twigs. Australasian Darters, Great and Little Pied Cormorants were also nesting, but in much smaller numbers. Interestingly, their nests were constructed from live twigs, complete with leaves.
Freckled, Blue-billed and Pink-eared Ducks were amongst the less common species on the lake.
A Great Egret was spotted on a small pond to the left of the track, fishing amongst dense red weed, apparently oblivious to the activities of the nearby Purple Swamphens.
Parrot species were plentiful, with Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Rainbow Lorikeets and Eastern Rosellas being the most noticeable as they jostled for nest hollows.
After completing the lake circuit a short walk was taken along the track towards Norton Park. Two Cattle Egrets could be seen among livestock in the distance and a Nankeen Kestrel was seen hovering and diving, then perched in a far-off dead tree.
This was the only raptor seen during the day. Noisy Miners were dominant amongst the smaller bush birds and it was a challenge to find other species. A friendly Grey Butcherbird was an exception.
After lunch the members drove to Carpark 4 where profusely flowering Ironbarks were attracting birds, most surprisingly including a pair of Princess Parrots (presumably aviary escapees).
A final short circuit walk was taken where good views of Australian King-Parrots and Musk Lorikeets were the highlights.
A total of 64 species was recorded for the day – an excellent result for a suburban park in August.
See the full bird list here: BM Aug 2017 Bird List Jells Park