• Corellas
8 Jan 2020 – chestnut teal

Up at a reasonably civilized 0330, and did the now familiar walk through JC Trotter Reserve to the pylon break, then looping around the forest peninsula and back to the southern end of the reservoir via the “desert”. It was a good start, with three different koalas in the woodland, although no night birds. The Rufous Fantail appeared to have moved on, and as I scanned the muddy patches from the forest peninsula it became apparent the Wood Sandpiper had also gone, as had the Red-necked Stint. But the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper flock had increased to 23. A bit frustrating today, but it does show that birds move into and out of the reservoir on a daily basis, a good characteristic for turning up rarities.

Scanning the ducks carefully, there was a darker teal among the Grey Teals. It looked good for a female Chestnut Teal, but views were pretty distant. It flew south, and later I relocated it and had much closer range telescope views to confirm its very dark ground colour to body plumage and wings, along with a buffy rather than whitish throat. Good enough to clinch the identification as a female Chestnut Teal. Salvaged a patch year tick from the day!

Plenty of pics of plants and dragonflies will keep me busy over the coming few days. Useful homework as my actual “day job” work starts to ramp up again over the next week or so.

I was on the lookout for sound recording opportunities today, and managed to capture Grey Teal, Pied Stilt, Little Egret and Magpie Lark.

The water level was 53.9% today, and the addition of Chestnut Teal brings my year list to 116.

eBird lists:

JC Trotter0.91 km24 min4
Pylon line0.41 km19 min22
Forest Peninsula2.5 km135 min57
Desert2.17 km44 min32
JC Trotter1.75 km87 min40
TOTAL7.74 km5 h 9 min81

The Pied Stilt’s call sounds simple but is in fact a stack of sounds!
Chestnut Teal – note the much darker ground colour than the (partially obscured) Grey Teal behind it, and the light brown rather than whitish lower cheeks and (you can’t really seee it in this picture) throat.