Monday, 5 March 2012

Wendouree Waterbirds

After a great morning at 13th Beach/Black Rocks, I ventured inland to Lake Wendouree in Ballarat to see the nesting Great Crested Grebes.

The lake is buzzing with birdlife this year with many species of waterbirds roosting, nesting and feeding.

Pacific Black Duck, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Pacific Black Duck, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Australian Wood Duck, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Black-tailed Native Hen, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Dusky Moorhen, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Eurasian Coot, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Little Pied Cormorant, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat

The highlight was seeing the Great Crested Grebes. These beautiful birds are not rare but are rarely seen close-up so, with at least 6 nests all within 25 metres of the walking track along the edge of Lake Wendouree (in the Fairyland section near the Ballarat Botanic Gardens), there is a lot of activity near the shore giving great close-ups of the birds.

Great Crested Grebe, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Great Crested Grebe, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Great Crested Grebe, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Great Crested Grebe, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat

Some of the nests are quite cryptic

Great Crested Grebe, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat

but others are wide out in the open

Great Crested Grebe, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Great Crested Grebe, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat
Great Crested Grebe, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat

An added bonus was this male Musk Duck in full display mode. He went through the whole routine for more than 20 minutes including 5 minutes of calling--a shrill whistle. I've heard this call before but never actually seen the bird calling until today.

Musk Duck (male), Lake Wendouree, Ballarat

3 comments:

  1. superb photos of the grebes and musk duck, I'll have to go and have a look for myself. Well done Ian.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Wampy,
    This was the first time I had been to this side (west) of the lake for years. After a decade of being water free, it's come back beautifully since refilling in 2010. You can't miss on the Grebes. The Musk Duck was serendipitous.
    Cheers, Ian

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was just down there and the male musk duck was one I had never seen before. I took so many photos of him and the female one as they fascinated me and listening to him and watching him splash and display was incredible. Thanks as I didn't know what the breed was.

    ReplyDelete

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