One final addition to the big bird list

I maintained a composite list of the birds seen in and from the garden of my previous home in Water St, Mundingburra, and the last addition to it was – all too appropriately – a pair of Pacific Black Ducks (Anas superciliosa) which flew in to land on the growing lake in the street in front of the house as the flood waters rose on Sunday Feb 3, 2019.

The story of the flood as an extreme weather event is here, and as it affected Townsville is here.

I have added the ducks to the list and declared it closed.

Billabong: waterbirds

Magpie Geese and Plumed Whistling Ducks
Magpie Geese and Plumed Whistling Ducks

Getting back to the abundant bird life at Billabong Sanctuary …
Whistling Ducks were everywhere, by twos and threes and tens, sometimes foraging alongside the Magpie Geese as in the photo on the left. The Magpie Geese were, I think, the largest birds there. The two pictured are not quite adults – they will soon lose the brown tinge to become pure white and black.

The beautiful Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), quite a bit smaller than the common White Ibis, were new to me, but I have known Moorhens since I was a child in Victoria. Billabong also claims to host one of its close relatives, the Purple Swamphen, but we didn’t notice any during our visit.

The third of the pictures below shows a Heron, characteristically perched on a branch overhanging the water and surveying it for prey. It is grey and it is a heron but it isn’t a Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea): it’s a Pied Heron (Ardea picata). We also saw pure white Egrets, although I didn’t get any photos worth sharing.

Glossy Ibis, knee-deep in the lagoon
Glossy Ibis, knee-deep in the lagoon
Moorhen swimming amongst reeds
Dusky Moorhen swimming amongst reeds
Dark grey Heron perched on a branch overlooking the lagoon
Pied Heron overlooking the lagoon







That only leaves my puzzle picture, doesn’t it?

Congratulations to anyone who recognised the feathered football as a sleeping Magpie Goose. If you are still having trouble seeing that it really is a natural posture, this shot of a pair I had seen earlier may help:

Two sleeping Magpie Geese
Two sleeping Magpie Geese