Following my first visit to this site earlier this month, I've obtained permission to conduct a survey of waterbirds using it over the next few months, so I will summarise some of my preliminary findings here. I hope to erect a few hides, and to visit the site during high tide, when I anticipate it will be used by good numbers of waders as a roost site.
The two parts of the site interesting for birds are quite different. To the south of the access road is an area of red earth with shallow brackish pools and clumps of sedge. This is the area which I will focus my attention on and I will refer to it as Site A.
Site A looking south from the access road.
North of the access road, the water is deeper, and is filled with dead or dying trees.
This is a view from the same access road, looking north.
Today was my first visit to Site A, and my aim was to map out the area and get an idea of what birds might be using it.
Looking eastward toward the land-fill area.
The southern end has less open water and sedges proliferate.
Of the four wader species that breed in the state, three of them breed here. At least 3 pairs of Black-winged Stilts have reared young this year.
Greater Painted Snipe is another breeding bird here. Painted Snipes are one of a select group of waders where the sexes reverse roles. The males incubate the eggs and rear the young, and are duller coloured than the female, which mates with several males. This bird is a male.
The nest is concealed in a tussock of sedge. This one contained four eggs.
Another male bird flies by.
A few migrant waders were already present. My visit was during low tide, so most birds were those species that prefer fresh and brackish-water habitats, such as these Long-toed Stints...
...Little Ringed Plovers ...
...and Wood Sandpipers. This shot was taken at Site B, where the Wood Sandpipers seem to like the emergent tree stumps.
There were just a few true intertidal specialists present, like this Lesser Sand Plover.
And finally, I came across this unique three-eyed monster! Actually, it is made of rolls of lining material that will eventually be used to cover this site.