Weekday outing to Edithvale Wetlands

18 April 2023

Leader: John Bosworth

What a marvellous day, a massive turnout, and a monumental bird list! Thirty-four members squeezed their cars into the car park outside the Bird Hide and gathered around for a short introduction from the Friends of Edithvale Wetlands who were kindly on hand to open the hide for us: https://www.edithvale-seaford-wetlands.org/ . 

The first hour or so was spent rotating observers through the hide and the nearby viewing platform giving everyone reasonable views of the lake and reed beds.  Recent rain had put the water level back up to about 400mm.  The waterbirds were spread out and somewhat less numerous than hoped for. But there were small numbers of the more common ducks and waterfowl… Chestnut Teal, Grey Teal, Pacific Black Duck, Black Swan, Eurasian Coot, Dusky Moorhen and Purple Swamphen.  Scopes proved useful in identifying some Australasian and Hoary-headed Grebes.  The larger species – Australian White Ibis, Royal Spoonbill, Australasian Darter, and the noisy species – Masked Lapwing – were easy additions to the list.  The first highlight was the appearance of a very acrobatic Swamp Harrier performing twists and turns over the reeds before disappearing into them. The next raptor to turn up – a Black-shouldered Kite – delighted the group on the viewing platform by circling over them.  Some keen ears on the viewing platform also heard a single Australian Reed-Warbler.  The air above the water and reeds was mostly populated by Welcome Swallows.  Other fly overs included Little Raven and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.

Welcome Swallow. Photo by Graham Gill

The vegetation around the hide was watched carefully for some of the elusive smaller species and yielded views of Brown Thornbill, White-browed Scrubwren, Golden Whistler, Silvereye, Willie Wagtail and White-plumed Honeyeater. A common Blackbird and a Superb Fairy-wren were also heard in the area.  The most elusive was a probable female Robin that avoided the scrutiny of 5 or 6 observers.

A pre-lunch walk along the Western side near the golf course yielded Spotted Pardalote, Rufous Whistler, Noisy Miner, Crested Pigeon, and a Spotted Dove.

After lunch at the car park, we set off to explore the wetland on the Northern side of Edithvale Road and were rewarded immediately with some nice views of Red-rumped Parrots feeding in the grassland.  Several Australian Magpies were also fossicking there.  Eastern Rosellas played hide and seek in the trees along the gravel path.  A few Rainbow lorikeets were spotted in a flowering Banksia but the Noisy Miners seemed to be the dominant nectar feeder.  The lakes and lagoons in this area yielded some new waterbird species – Hardhead, Buff-banded Rail, Little Pied Cormorant, Australian Pelican and a single female Musk Duck as well as more small numbers of Teal, Coot, Pacific Black Duck, and another Australasian Darter.  A Magpie Goose was seen gliding into the top lake behind a pair of Black-shouldered Kites who were proving very photogenic.  Some careful observation of the Hirundines that were hawking for insects over the reeds revealed the presence of at least 3 Fairy Martins.

Photos of Black-shouldered Kite above, provided by Clancy Benson

Photos of Black-shouldered Kite above, provided by Graham Gill

The return trip past the golf course turned up a few Australian Wood Duck, Musk Lorikeet, a single Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater and an Australian Kestrel.

There were arguably several candidates for “Bird of the Day” but as no vote was taken and only a few people saw the Buff-banded Rail and the Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, I think the photogenic presence of the Black-shouldered Kite puts it in top spot.

The complete Bird Data for the day can be found via the link below.


Many thanks to John Bosworth for leading on the day and helping us achieve a massive 57 species.


1 thought on “Weekday outing to Edithvale Wetlands

  1. Once again, an excellent blog Philip, although I can’t help wondering where was I when some of those more illusive birds were spotted?!

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