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Greenfields Wetlands, 13/10/201



Greenfields Wetlands is a man-made reserve just north of Adelaide and has turned up some quite decent birds and other animals. Luckily, it's also easily accessible by train and bus, so off I went with my father-in-law Brian looking for Banded Stilt. This species of stilt is my biggest bogey bird in Australia, having managed to miss them in a number of places where they've been recorded, despite them being fairly common. Access to the reserve is by token from the neighbouring cafe and having made our way past the Tai-chi class we had a look from the hide. As with many Australian reserves, there is no cover walking up to the hide (I think Bicentennial Park in Sydney is one of the few I've seen that buck the trend), but we didn't seem to scare anything off. Quite soon, we found ourselves inundated with singing Greenfinches. Australian Reed Warblers, Superb Fairywrens and Silvereyes all hopped about in the reeds just in front of the hide, which allowed for some photos. A Hoary-headed Grebe swam close by and a single Whiskered Tern in breeding plumage flew around in that fashion that puts me in mind of a toy on a piece of elastic.

Australasian Reed Warbler
Australasian Reed Warbler

Hoary-headed Grebe
Hoary-headed Grebe

Moving around, we found more Whiskered Terns, a lot of New Holland Honeyeaters and a surprising lack of raptors. The only stilts were White-headed/Black-winged (delete as taxonomically applicable), sadly. The undoubted highlight was seeing a larger bird being mobbed by two Whiskered Terns, which resolved itself into an Australasian Bittern, flying at a height of ~ 20 m above us. Brian got some idea of the awesomeness of this from my excited pointing and mostly-incoherent noises in its general direction, followed by the clicking of a shutter (and curses as the battery started going and slowing down the AF - typical...)

Australasian Bittern

Australasian Bittern
Australasian Bittern

Whiskered Tern
Whiskered Tern

A quick nose at the salt pan from over the road didn't show up any waders, but the odd sight of a long row of salt pyramids. Walking back to the station, we got a nice view of a Great Egret hunting in a creek.

Great Egret
Great Egret

For a short trip to a suburban reserve, it was quite a good haul.