Australian Little Bittern et al for Winter Beyond - 2011

Sightings anywhere within a 250 km radius of Toowoomba, but excluding the local survey area (see above), for the period 1 June 2011 - 31 August 2011.

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Rod Hobson
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:03 am

Australian Little Bittern et al for Winter Beyond - 2011

Post by Rod Hobson » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:59 am

Folks,

Some additional species for "Winter Beyond - 2011":

Spotted Dove - Carbeenia Park, Bowenville SEQ - 30th June 2011.

Singing Bushlark x 2, Stubble Quail x 3 and Yellow-throated Miner along Bowenville-Norwin Road, Bowenville SEQ - 06th July 2011.

Australian Little Bittern x 1, Lake Broadwater via Dalby SEQ - 07th July 2011.

Aside to an overwintering Sacred Kingfisher the bittern was certainly the highlight of my recent visit to Lake Broadwater; only the second of this species that I've seen to date. I flushed the bird from a heavily vegetated sidewater not far from the care-taker's residence there. This was about 10.45am. There is a lot of ideal skulker habitat around the lake at present though the open water is fairly devoid of waterfowl. Should be a good season coming up for Australian Painted Snipe and Wood Sandpiper!

The Australian Little Bittern, a young bird, flew in a wide curve and close to the ground back towards the camp grounds where it disappeared from my view. It flew in a typical bittern style with its neck retracted and legs extended out straight behind it; on rounded wings with a clipped flying style. I'm not sure what the bird was doing at Lake Broadwater at this time of the year but would assume that the unsettled weather over most of this year may well have something to do with this; an overwintering individual in all likelihood. All my references are quite vague on the movements of this species, which is not unexpected for such a rare bird.

There does appear to be some movement of this bittern in summer in south-western Australia, as wetlands dry out. Other populations are thought to be sedentary. Whatever the case in this instance it was great to see this unusual bird at Lake Broadwater last week. This bittern already appears on the the Lake Broadwater Natural History Association's checklist for the lake so it's not a "first".

You can't win 'em all.

Regards,
Rod Hobson

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