September’s birds

I promised you a post about the birds I saw on my quest for wildflowers in September, and here it is!

At Mundawaddery Cemetery I saw a pair of galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) settling in for the evening. I’m not sure if the dead tree had a nest hollow in it, or if they just liked the open roosting location.

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I was told where to find a group of emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) at Grong Grong, although from their behaviour and the style of fence around the paddock, I suspect these are farm emus, not wild. On the other hand, tame emus means close-up photos.

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The person who told me about them had photos of babies, but I sadly did not see any while I was there. This guy refused to stand up though, so perhaps he was incubating eggs (male emus are the ultimate super-dads). I tried to keep away from him so as not to disturb him, just in case. If you haven’t seen emu chicks before, I suggest you google them, because they are adorable.

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However, I did find some other baby birds I went looking for. There is a farm near Collingullie with a low-lying front paddock that is transformed into a wetland every wet year, and each time this happens a pair of black swans (Cygnus atratus) nests there and raises their brood. I had seen their nest several times as I drove past, so decided to stop one day while I had my camera and binoculars with me, and see if I could find them. Find them I did, and I was delighted to discover they have seven cygnets this year, here’s hoping most of them make it to adulthood.

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Swan nest in foreground, swan family behind
seven cygnets
Seven little cygnets with Mum and Dad

The little wetland hosted a number of other waterbirds as well, including assorted ducks, yellow-billed spoonbills (Platalea flavipes), Australian pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus), and black-winged stilts (Himantopus himantopus).

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Yellow-billed Spoonbills
pelicans
Australian pelicans
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Black Swans and Black-winged Stilts

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I also met a pied butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) in Narrandera, who thought I was fascinating, and we had a bit of a mutual admiration session before going our separate ways.

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4 thoughts on “September’s birds

  1. A.M. Valenza October 21, 2015 / 11:16 pm

    All these cute birds! The galahs, black swans, and pied butcherbird were my favorites ❤ The butcherbird has such pretty feathers! I love black and white, so it's coloring is ❤ And I like the galahs because they look so huffy. The swans up here are only white, and I've seen some hanging around ponds and lakes in my area, so seeing the black version is super cool! Honestly, I didn't even know they came in black.

    *writes down more story ideas* I love your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • riverinawildlife October 22, 2015 / 12:06 am

      Thanks! 🙂

      Black swans are only found in Australasia, and apparently came as a bit of a shock to the Europeans when they first got here, because they’d only ever seen white swans before.

      I like butcherbirds too, and they’re lovely songsters as well, I don’t see them terribly often so it’s always a bit special when I do. Galahs get a bad rap because they’re very common, very noisy (especially first thing in the morning outside your window), and get hit by cars a lot (thus earning them a reputation for being stupid), but they’re fun to watch, and like other parrots are actually pretty clever.

      You may be interested to know that unlike a lot of bird species, both black swans and galahs are long-term monogamous, and will stay with one partner until one or both of them die, although they do move on to new partners if they get ‘widowed’.

      Like

  2. wbdeejay October 22, 2015 / 10:37 pm

    Ooh, swan nest, haven’t seen one before. And love the majestic Pelicans.

    Like

    • riverinawildlife October 22, 2015 / 11:12 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you like them. Pelicans are always fabulous to see, they’re like wetland royalty, gliding majestically around, and so much bigger than the other birds. I think swan nests maybe get overlooked a bit, because people aren’t sure what to look for, and if you didn’t know what it was you could easily not realise. On the other hand, they’re not often this close to a road. The only other swan nests I know the location of are in the middle of a much larger wetland. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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