Saturday, December 01, 2007

Macau, Sydney


Opposite the Venetian hotel is a lake which is getting a bit shabby. Egrets gathered to roost there: certainly Little Egrets and a larger one which was probably Cattle rather than Great according to the book - though it does say there are lots of Greats in winter....There were also some smaller brown herons. Also White Wagtails.

At Hong Kong airport Crested Myna were fluttering amongst the planes.

Arrived in Sydney and went for a run round the Opera House and then the Botanic Gardens. Saw Little Pied Cormorant, Aus White Ibis, Aus Wood Duck, Masked Lapwing, Aus Magpie, Silver Gull, Noisy Miner, Common Myna' Aus Magpie, Rainbow Lorikeet, and of course the giant bats - Grey-Headed Flying Foxes to be precise. Great description of the charms of the Bot G on 10,000 Birds

On Saturday I had a free day in Sydney. Googling the options suggested that the 1-day bird highlight is a National Park, but it needs a car to get there. The interesting alternative I found was the Olympic Park, which is a large area at the start of of the Parramatta River which has been redeveloped from an old military base and half of it given over to the stadia for the Olympics, but the rest as walking/cycling parkland. See report from 10000 birds .The ferry ride from Circular Quay is a pleasure in itself (Great Cormaorant, Australian Pelican), and then I spent 6 excellent hours walking round the variety of habitats. Started walking along the river and found my first SUPERB BLUE WREN (pictured). There are loads of them there. Extraordinary bird.

Noisy Miner, Magpie Lark, Willy Wagtail, Aus Raven too. CRESTED PIGEON is a great sight too. Red Wattlebird, Pied Currawong (pictured), Purple Swamphen, Pied Butcherbird (loads of them at the Olympic Archery venue). Then on to the mangrove/mudflat area for Silvereye, Black Winged Stilt (pictured), Red Necked Avocet, White Faced Heron (pictured), Chestnut Teal, Australian Grey Teal, Coot, Dusky Moorhen. In the Bicentennial Park, in a mongst the wedding parties and Jacaranda groves, ROYAL SPOONBILL, Pacific Black Duck, Aus Wood Duck, Aus White Ibis. In a gravel pit near the stadia they have a circular raised walkway from whcih I saw Black Swan. Red Whiskered Bulbul, Brown Honeyeater, Aus (clamorous) Reed Warbler.

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