Birds on the Barrages at Goolwa

Pelicans on the Barrages at Goolwa

Pelicans on the Barrages at Goolwa

On our boat trip on the River Murray a few weeks ago we went through the lock in the barrages at Goolwa. This allowed us to pass through from the River Murray into the Coorong and travel by boat towards the mouth of the river. Today’s photos show many birds lined up along the top of the barrages.

In the photo above you can see a number of Australian Pelicans, while below is a large gathering of cormorants. Although I’m not absolutely certain, I think that they are probably Little Black Cormorants. They don’t seem to be big enough for the larger Great Cormorant.

Cormorants on the Barrages at Goolwa

Cormorants on the Barrages at Goolwa

 

Purple Swamphen up close

Sailing on the River Murray at Goolwa, South Australia

Sailing on the River Murray at Goolwa, South Australia

On our recent boat trip on Lake Alexandrina and the River Murray we took a little detour into a new housing estate with water frontage. We had to slow right down from the 25mph we had been travelling at to a very modest 4 knots (7.4mph). We also had to navigate a narrow canal less than 10m wide so this gave me an ideal opportunity to do some close up birding.

Unfortunately there was very little to see, with the exception of the Purple Swamphen shown in today’s photos below. It seemed quite unconcerned by our presence as our captain manoeuvred our boat through a tricky passage before turning around and leaving the channel and back out to the river.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

 

 

Let’s take a bath Willie Wagtail

Willie wagtail at our birdbath

Willie wagtail at our birdbath

We get a great deal of pleasure from watching the constant parade of birds coming to our birdbath. This Willie Wagtail was really getting into the art of having a really good soaking. It is also situated strategically for great photo opportunities too.

 

Willie wagtail at our birdbath

Willie wagtail at our birdbath

Willie wagtail at our birdbath

Willie wagtail at our birdbath

 

Yellow Thornbills in our garden

Yellow Thornbill

Yellow Thornbill

Yesterday while having breakfast I observed a thornbill sized bird flitting around and on one of the birdbaths in our garden. I reached for my binoculars – they are always in easy reach from where we often sit to have our meals – and quickly identified it as a Yellow Thornbill. This is one species I don’t observe every day in our garden, but suspect that they are actually a resident breeding species, that is, they are present every day and nest in our garden.

More common is the Yellow-rumped thornbill which seems to be all over the garden at any given time on any given day. On sunny, still days the air can be filled with their twittering.

The Yellow Thornbill – also known as the Little Thornbill – is a widespread species found in eastern Australia, from southern Queensland through much of New South Wales and Victoria and into south eastern South Australia.

Yellow Thornbill

Yellow Thornbill

Yellow Thornbill

Yellow Thornbill

 

 

Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow

Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow

Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow

I was looking through some recent photos when I came across this one of a juvenile Dusky Woodswallow. I can’t fully remember the circumstances but I think it had just come to investigate the birdbath in our garden. I can’t recall if it actually had a drink or not, and it didn’t hang around for long.

Several species of woodswallow are seen from time to time in our garden or flying above. I didn’t see or hear any others on this particular occasion, though I was inside, probably with the early morning radio on in the background.

At first glance I was puzzled when I first saw this photo. The white tips on the tail give it away as a woodswallow as several of the species have white on the tail. The streaks on the head and neck indicate a juvenile, but the white strip on the leading edge of the wing indicates that it is a Dusky Woodswallow.

To take a closer look at the photo, click on the image to enlarge and then click on the View Original tab.