Sunday, October 11, 2009

Swan Estuary Marine Park - Birdwatching (2)

Finally, after hearing so much about the hundreds of waders that can be seen at Alfred Cove at low tide, I made my way there on Friday. Alfred Cove is part of the Swan Estuary Marine Park.

There are many signs around, providing visitors with information about the cove and particularly its birdlife.

(CLICK to enlarge the image)

(CLICK to enlarge the images)

"Whose estuary it is?" - Certainly a reminder that visitors should respect and care for the birdlife at the cove.

I like this one - you can turn the wheel and find out what kind of bird activity can be expected at the cove at different time of the year.

Looking towards the city center of Perth from Alfred Cove at low tide.

At low tide, hundreds of waterbirds were wading in the river. There were many (>100) of Australian white ibises, and even more silver gulls.

Pelicans resting on a sandbar

Other birds I saw including pied oystercatchers (top), pacific black ducks (left) and crested terns (right). There were also black swans and many little black cormorants, little pied cormorants and great cormorants. I also saw a white-faced heron near shore.

I watched most of these birds though my binoculars. They were too far away to photograph. Getting near them was also a challenge as I kept sinking in the sand/mud with every step I took. So I decided not to risk falling and getting my camera wet.

The wooded area near the shore of Alfred Cove is also a good spot to look for birds. And safer for my non-waterproof camera too. I managed to photograph the following:

1. Rainbow lorikeet
2. Australian ringneck
3. Red wattlebird
4. Australian magpie
5. Australian raven
6. Laughing kookaburra
7. Galah
8 & 9. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)- the first (or maybe second time?) I saw one.
The osprey is a medium-sized (50-65 cm) bird of prey. With that size, it's actually smaller than a pied cormorant and a great cormorant. It is also known as sea hawk, feeding mainly on fish. It has a beak with a strong hook and powerful legs. This osprey nest is on the top of a very tall post that has been erected for the bird to breed.

Other birds species that I came across included willie wagtails, magpie-larks, laughing doves, and spotted doves.

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