Friday, August 6, 2010

Perth WA - Birding Herdsman Lake and Lake Monger

Back in Perth and back to Herdsman Lake - a great oasis of nature in the middle of Perth and a top top bird spot! I have always had some good luck at Herdsman Lake, during my last visit I managed to get a great shot of a Blue-billed Duck and a sighting of a Tiger Snake. This time the target was Musk Duck.

The first photo of this blog will already have reveled that the Musk Duck hunt was successful - At least for those of the readers that are familiar with this quite distinct looking duck. We literally saw the Musk Duck seconds after having stepped out of the car. The males large black lobe of skin hanging under the beak was visible all the way from the car park. I acquired focus and snapped a few, battling some harsh light and a concerned bird that quite clearly understood that it was being center of attention.

Having already accomplished our goals, we decided to transform the trip into a gently workout and set out for a stroll along the lake. Still having the camera handy, I managed to get a few shots of a couple of old friends: A couple of Australian Shelducks - the female has the white stripe at the base of the beak and a white ring around the eye, and a Laughing Turtle-dove, which is not native to Australia, but was introduced in 1898 in Perth. According to my bird book you have to make your way to WA to spot that one, but it is not on the WA endemic list .. guess a few made it across the Nullabor?

We even managed to spot a fox! Guess it should not come as a surprise with the abundance of feathered wildlife an opportunistic fox would obviously consider it an all-you-can-eat smörgåsbord.

Lake Monger is less protected than Herdsman Lake, most of the birds will be on the water and harder to get close to. It is a good walk around it and we managed to build up some appetite while getting decent looks of Pink-eared Duck, Australasian Shovelers and a feeding Yellow-billed Spoonbill.

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