This is my favourite part of the Thompsons Lake Nature Reserve blog – The Ducks and other wildfowl and shorebirds. The main lake is huge with varying water levels dependant on the season but my first wildfowl encounter was way before I arrived there.
A smaller pond had quite a mix of waterfowl with close range photo opportunities. The ducks did not seem too troubled by my presence. Groups of Grey Teal gracefully swam around the middle part of the lake heads held high!
Pacific Black Duck were less obvious preferring the margins to the open water.
There were plenty of Hardhead amongst the two hundred plus wildfowl a lot of duck on such a small body of water. White Faced Heron were roosting with the cormorants in the semi -submerged tree on the far side of the pond.
But this was just a warm up for the main event at Thompsons. There were ducks and White faced Stilts Everywhere. I crept into position and then let the birds come to me which itself was an amazing sight. Wheeling flocks of White faced Stilt coming to land along the shoreline!
The sifting through the masses began with Australian Shoveler, Grey Teal, Pacific Black Duck and the odd Hoary Grebe diving further out. It was difficult to gauge the size difference between this species and Australian Grebe but the eye colour is a key feature with the Hoary’s eye is dark and the latter yellow-orange eye. A couple of Australian Shelduck were also noted stood on random clumps of vegetation.
Once the Shelduck had moved down into the water a Glossy Ibis took up the post on the small mound of earth. A group of fourteen birds were seen moving along the shoreline further to my left.
A Straw Necked Ibis made a fly by totally ignoring the potential feeding ground below.
A Greenshank was the only other shorebird found weaving in and out of the Stilts as it fed.
The waterfowl and shorebirds seemed un-phased by raptors that passed over the reed-beds More in part III.