Lovely weather for ducks!

We’ve had lovely weather for ducks in the last week – ever since I posted about last year’s rainfall, in fact, although I don’t think my post was the cause. I visited the Town Common on Wednesday morning and enjoyed sloshing around in intermittent drizzle before the really heavy rain started about 11 o’clock. Everything was beautifully green and the waterbirds were feeding happily.

cattle egrets on Town Common
Cattle Egrets and others under dark grey skies

Most of this group were Cattle Egrets – more precisely Eastern Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus coromandus) – which are pure white in non-breeding plumage and rufous in breeding plumage. The bigger pure white birds are Intermediate Egrets (Ardea intermedia).

I met an old friend who was very excited at seeing a Pied Heron amongst them – a really rare sighting, she said, but I had to admit that I don’t know enough about birds to fully appreciate the rarity. I did get a (bad) photo of the bird, however.

pied heron feeding with Cattle Egrets and Intermediate Egret
Pied Heron feeding with Cattle Egrets and Intermediate Egret

For better photos of the Pied Heron (Ardea picata), you could visit Birdway.

The other unusual sighting was a Jabiru aka Black-necked Stork, Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus, fully-grown but still in juvenile plumage.

jabiru immature and adult feeding
Immature Jabiru with an adult female

Also seen in this short trip: small flocks of Magpie Geese were moving around; a single White-faced Heron and a few White Ibis and Spur-winged Plovers amongst the Cattle Egrets; Crimson Finches, a greenish honeyeater and a Dollarbird near the Freshwater bird hide; a couple of terns; and (heard but not seen) a Pheasant Coucal (links are to older photos on this blog).

Ducks? I’m sure there were but I can’t remember them.

I think I will have to start making lists like real birders do.

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