Waders on the Common

It isn’t very long since my previous post about birds on the Town Common but water levels there have dropped and some different species, especially small waders, are taking advantage of the shallows and mudflats.

waders on a shallow lagoon
Distant waders including Stilts, Sandpipers (Marsh and Sharp-tailed), Dotterels and Masked Lapwing

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Waterbirds on the Common

I have been visiting the Town Common several times per year for over ten years because there’s always something special to see. A morning there early this week (my first visit since before our Limmen trip in July-August) was rewarded with so many birds that I just had to share some photos.

Magpie Geese and others on the Town Common
Magpie Geese and others

The lagoons at the Melaleuca and Pandanus viewing areas have been cleaned up recently and there’s now a long stretch of open water – plenty for not just a lot of birds but a lot of a lot of species of birds. We expect Magpie Geese, especially towards the end of the Dry season, but there were also big flocks of Egret (certainly Little and Great, and probably Cattle), Grey Teal and Royal Spoonbills.

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Mixed flocks on the Common

When you see a flock of galahs, they are all galahs. When you see a flock of crows (or ravens), they are all crows (or ravens). When you see a flock of finches, they are all spice finches or all zebra finches. Birds of a feather flock together, as the saying goes.

Until you come to waterbirds. A mob of white ibis is quite likely to include some black ibis or spoonbills. Ditto gulls and terns, or cormorants and darters, or ducks and geese. Sometimes we need to look quite carefully to find the odd ones out, as a recent visit to the Town Common reminded me.

Ducks and Magpie Geese on the Town Common
Ducks and Magpie Geese

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An early morning on the Common

The weather has been a bit warm for enjoyable walking the last few months unless one gets out very early and doesn’t stay too long. That was my cunning plan a few days ago and it worked beautifully: I was at Pallarenda just before sunrise, and home again about three hours later after a pleasant walk up the beginning of the Mount Marlow track and around the Wetland loop.

The Common is always beautiful so I am sharing some of the landscape views I brought home. They are in the order they were taken, from pre-dawn to full daylight.

Cape Cleveland from Pallarenda beach
Cape Cleveland from Pallarenda beach

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Mundy Creek wetlands – around the cemetery

Monday was another beautiful day so I decided to explore another section of the Mundy Creek wetlands I started to discover last week. I thought I would drive to the cemetery gate and walk downstream along the bike path to the beach but when I got there, the cemetery itself looked too good to ignore.

Yes, really.

As the map shows, the northern edge of the cemetery opens onto a long stretch of lagoons and mudflats. In real life, you simply walk around the right hand end of its ornamental entrance to see this:

graves and swamp
Graves on the left, swamp on the right

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