Ash Island does the Double

A couple of recent excursions to local birding hot spots have paid dividends, particularly Ash Island, which has produced two Aussie ticks for me – White-winged Black Tern and King Quail, in as many days. Other interest has come in the form of Black-necked Stork at Pambalong Reserve and at Bunnings ‘scrape’ (the equivalent to a B&Q carpark in England!) another tick in the shape of an Eastern Yellow Wagtail – with a supporting cast of eleven Australian Painted Snipe! These ‘celebrity’ birds, together with a heap of the more common local stuff, have nudged the list to over 150 already!

First up, a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper – the ‘default’ wader species on Ash Island and adjacent Hexham Swamp


Black-necked Stork, a scarce visitor/possible occasional breeder in the lower Hunter. We found this immature bird at Pambalong


First of the two Ash Island ticks –  one of four White-winged Black Tern, photographed here with Welcome Swallow.


The search is on for the second, which required a 4.30am start, a ‘planet earth’ tick – King Quail! Pictured here, at one of NSW’s biggest recent twitches – from left to right Steve & Mick Roderick, Dan and me – Jane taking the photo


.. and here’s the prize, an amazing shot taken by Mick, of a two second show as this ‘micro’ Quail flew to cover!


More ‘celebrity birds’ – this one, a self found Eastern Yellow Wagtail at Bunnings Scrape. This species was only recently discovered  wintering, in single figure numbers, in the Ash Island/Hexham Swamp area, so to find one away from the regular location was a real bonus


Mick kindly turned up at Bunnings to confirm the identification of the Wagtail and promptly found a group of Australian Painted Snipe! This photo features four of the total of eleven seen


To conclude this ‘birds of the lower Hunter’ blog, some of the more regular species…

This entry was posted in Birding.

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