Friday, 30 March 2007

A morning with rain and binoculars

I went on a field trip this morning. Well, field trip is overstating it a smidgeon. A more accurate description might be a drive around the coast to Corio Bay. I was sussing out likely sites for a study and sneaking in a spot of bird watching as well.

Limeburners Bay (aka Limeburners Lagoon) at the north end of Corio Bay is a Ramsar wetland. The sun was shining when I got out of the car but by the time I'd walked down to the water's edge (about two minutes) the clouds had gathered and it was raining. Not heavily. But every drop was a hailstone in the making. It wasn't long before I retreated to the car so I didn't get any pictures. Oh, except this one below.

But before I made a bee line back to the vehicle, I scanned the water and opposite shoreline for birds. The tide was in, so the waders were out. Still, the usual suspects were hanging around in substantial numbers.

Crested terns gathered in a flotilla in the middle of the bay, trying to avoid the boisterous silver gulls. A couple of delinquent gulls broke away from their group and mobbed a juvenile Pacific gull that had caught a squid before turning their attentions to a small flock of pelicans. The pelicans eventually moved off to calmer waters, leaving the thugs to find other victims. They tried it on with the little pied and little black cormorants, but the cormorants dived to avoid them. For some reason, the gulls didn't push their luck with the black swans. A group of chestnut teals took advantage of the sanctuary offered by those beautiful birds and stuck close to them like tiny glossy shadows.

There might have been more but they lost out to the rain. Next time, I'll check the tide tables and the weather forecast before I head south west again.


amegilla said...

And all I did was weedmapping, were I saw...weeds.
(but there were an awful lot of quenda living in the weeds, far more than in adjacent intact bushland.
Typical bloody mindedness).

Snail said...

Geelong Grammar School is on Limeburners Bay. Plenty of weeds there too, planted deliberately. And they had a bloody great big sprinkler going on their sports oval. Appalled, I was.

jj said...

"Didn't they have "BORE WATER" signs up?
(In other words, "Stuff you lot; we've got the money to buy even this precious resource")

Snail said...

I didn't see any signs but I wasn't really looking. The huge jets of water took all my attention. Those and the "The Prisoner" vibe of the school. Seemed to me as if an English village had been ripped up and transplanted into Corio.