Sunday, 28 August 2011

Crake Hunt, part 2

Having dipped (at least photographically) on the hunt for crakes at the Western Treatment Plant last weekend, I thought I'd follow up on the Australian Spotted Crake sightings at Lignum Swamp, just NW of Campbelltown in Central Victoria (see map) reported recently on Geoff Park's excellent blog.

Lignum Swamp

Lots of Purple Swamphens standing on the lignum bushes and Black-winged Stilts feeding in the shallow water along with Red-kneed Dotterels.

Red-kneed Dotterel, Lignum Swamp

Crakes could be heard some distance away in the swamp so I waited and watched for any to expose themselves. Meanwhile, flocks of Little Corella and Pacific Black Duck flew around the swamp several times.

Little Corella, Lignum Swamp

Pacific Black Duck, Lignum Swamp

Patience paid off as one Australian Spotted Crake wandered out onto a small mud island about 200 metres into the swamp - a long way away but a first time photograph of this species.

Australian Spotted Crake, Lignum Swamp

I also heard calls from the eastern side of the swamp where the lignum grows beside the track so I walked around to see if I could get a closer view. Ten minutes later, a single bird came out for a brief forage in the shallows before disappearing back into the lignum.

Australian Spotted Crake, Lignum Swamp

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