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Friday, 9 May 2014

Clear Day Birding

What a difference a day can make.  Yesterday was marred by frequent squalls of rain although never heavy enough to bring birding to an end; the urge to try a new red played a more prominent role in that decision.   In contrast, today started with clear skies and sunshine, albeit rather weak by Queensland standards.   It continued in that vein through to the late afternoon, by which time we were in dire need of more red wine, although the local beers [by the bottle] with names such as "Iona Monk," "Terror of Tobermory" [based on an actual historical figure] did much to  appease a pair of male near-alcoholic birders.
As has become our norm during the week, Fay and I, accompanied by Les, took a morning stroll along the road to Gorten.  The village is a simple ribbon development skirting the banks of Loch Don.  A few birdfeeders makes it a top stretch for birding: European  Greenfinch Chloris chloris, both European Blue Cyanistes caeruleus  and Great Tits Parus major, the ever-present Common Blackbird Turdus merula and Song Thrush Turdus philomelos, along with European Herring Gull Larus argentatus , Eurasian Oystercatcheru Himatopus ospraleg, Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator on the water itself.
Earlier in the week we had taken note of the Aros Park turn-off, signposted as being the source of three good walking tracks.   We opted for the Lochan Trail, leading around Lachan a Ghurrabuin, an inland loch fringed with tall, moss-laden trees.
There was the usual array of small woodland birds: European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis, Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes and Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita but coming across the mating Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla pair  was noteworthy, topped moments later by the totally unexpected, spectacular, views of the delightful White-fronted Dipper Cinclus cinclus.

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