Sunday, 4 January 2015

Kerang Lakes - Part 2 Reedy Lakes

Following a morning at Lake Tutchewop, I head for Reedy Lakes Ibis Rookery. Reedy Lakes, is a three-lake complex (part of the Kerang-Swan Hill irrigation system) just north of Kerang. It is Ramsar listed and home to the largest ibis rookery in the world with more than 100,000 ibis (Australian White Ibis and Straw-necked Ibis) nesting there. Middle Lake is the easiest to access (only a few hundred metres off the Murray Valley Highway, via Pratt Road, about 10 km north of Kerang) and includes most of the rookery and a bird hide close to the car park.

If you follow Pratt Road (cross the bridge over the channel opposite the car park) around the lake to the north-west corner where the channel exits Middle Lake draining into Third Lake, there is a colony of Australasian Darters that breed in summer-early autumn and you can get relatively close while remaining behind vegetation (and so avoiding too much disturbance of the birds...they were obviously aware that I was there but none of the birds photographed were flushed from nests or perches).

Australasian Darter, Reedy Lakes, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6 1/60 (Polariser)
Australasian Darter (female), Reedy Lakes, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6 1/125 (Polariser)
Australasian Darter (female), Reedy Lakes, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6 1/200 (Polariser)
Australasian Darter (female), Reedy Lakes, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6 1/125 (Polariser)
Australasian Darter (male), Reedy Lakes, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6 1/800 (Polariser)

Of course, it wouldn't be right to be here and not photograph ibis...these Australian White Ibis were reasonably cooperative (photographing out of the car window from the road) but all of the Straw-necked Ibis flew off as soon as I slowed down. Believe it or not, the front bird in the first photo below did not take off...it reminded me of my childhood days being dared (and daring others) to jump off piers and cliffs into the sea...a toe over the precipice but, in the end, no...

Australian White Ibis, Reedy Lakes, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6 1/800 (Polariser)
Australian White Ibis, Reedy Lakes, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6 1/640 (Polariser)

The surrounding woodlands, wetlands and channels are also home to many other species of birds. I didn't have much time to search for many birds today as I wanted to get back to Lake Tutchewop but a family of Noisy Miners was very busy right next to the car park.

Noisy Miner, Reedy Lakes, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6 1/200 (Polariser)

A quick trip into Kerang to resupply (fuel for the car and water for me) provided the opportunity for a brief stop at the Kerang Bushland Reserve on the Loddon River, immediately west of the town. There was lots of activity there with at least 5 species of honeyeaters seen but mostly on the island in the middle of the river (so inaccessible for any photography). This male Superb Fairy-wren did make it worth the stop though as he displayed actively from within a small clump of lignin.

Superb Fairy-wren (male), Loddon River, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8
ISO 400, f/5.6 1/125 (Polariser)

On the road north (heading back to Lake Tutchewop) I spotted a Black Falcon in a dead tree beside the road. A quick U-turn and I drove back past it and stopped behind a clump of trees giving me enough cover to get one record shot off before it flew away.

Black Falcon, Murray Valley Highway, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/7 1/800

Not sure if I spooked it or the clown driving the car who tooted the horn as he drove past me (it never ceases to amaze me how some people think this is clever or funny) but it was gone before I could attempt to get closer. I did manage to capture this shot of particularly ragged individual from a handful of Australian Pelicans circling over the nearby pasture, exploiting the thermals to gain some altitude.

Australian Pelican, Murray Valley Highway, Kerang
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8
ISO 400, f/7 1/2000

1 comment:

  1. Another great selection of birds although not the one you were looking for as yet. great shots.

    ReplyDelete

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