Friends of the Cockburn Wetlands Education Centre

 Bird Counts and Observations


The Friends conduct regular bird counts of Bibra Lake, North Lake, South Lake, and Little Rush Lake. Waterbirds have been monitored on a quarterly basis since 1996 and the Friends continue to contribute important information to Birds Australia.

If you would like to know more about the records please contact Marion on 9331443

BIRD COUNTS FOR 2016

Wednesday 30th November                SOUTH LAKE NUMBER OF WATER BIRDS

Coots, 5  Swamp hen 1, Blue billed duck 2 pairs,  Australian Shoveller 1, Pacific black duck 12, Grey teal 14, Great egret 2,

Little black Cormorant , Australasian ibis 47

The lake was 100% full plus very  soggy dampland around the fringing vegetation

Wednesday 23rd NOVEMBER              LITTLE RUSH LAKE NUMBER OF WATER BIRDS 31

 

COOT -3, WHITE FACED HERON - 1, MUSK DUCK 2, AUSTRALIAN GREBE 1, LITTLE BLACK CORMORANT 1, LITTLE PIED CORMORANT - 2, SHELL DUCK - 1,      BLACK SWANS - 5 ADULT PAIR WIIH THREE CYGNETS, GLOSSY IBIS 5, AUSTRALASIAN IBIS 10 

The Lake was 100% full plus very soggy dampland around the fringing vegetation.

 

28TH JULY 2016                        NORTH LAKE  NUMBER OF WATER BIRDS 275

Australasian Grebe15, Black Swan 37, Coot 10, Great Egret 2, grey teal 40, Pacific black 160, Australasian Ibis 1, Shell Duck 4, Swamp Hen 5, Pacific Heron 1

15 Swan nests, Evidence of Pacific Black ducks  breeding on North Lake and frog swamp

30th JULY 2016                         LITTLE RUSH LAKE NUMBER OF WATER BIRDS  TOTAL 13

 5 PACIFIC BLACK DUCKS, ONE LONE MUSK DUCK, 1black swan, 6 Australian Ibis 

lAKE was 70% full.  BUSH BIRD SPECIES - Red capped parrots, Silver Eyes, Yellow Rumped Thornbill, Rufous Whistler,Gerygone, Wattle Bird, Blue fairy wren, blackfaced cuckoo shrike, willie wagtails, New Holland honey eaters, magpies, silver eyes, lorikeet

19th AUGUST 2016         SOUTH LAKE NUMBER OF WATER BIRDS 76      about 80% full  

  Australian ibis 60, straw necked 8,  hard head 8

19th MARCH 2016                     LITTLE RUSH LAKE   NUMBER OF BIRDS NIL

No water birds, lake an oval of mud, four very small puddles around edge.  Lots of magpies, Ravens, an Osprey perched in an old tree 

12TH FEBRUARY  2016               SOUTH LAKE               NUMBER OF BIRDS  9

The lake was approximately 25% full.  Visibility is much improved now that there have been two swathes of typha cut.

There were two Pacific black ducks, three Australian Grebes, two Australasian Ibis, one flying and two swamp hens. There were numerous blue fairy wrens in the reeds, a rainbow bee-eater perching in a tree.  Then on our way back up the track was an  Australian hobby quietly perching on the top branch of a dead tree in spite of the racket caused by a couple of galahs in flight. 

                                  

 

BIRD COUNTS FOR 2015

NOVEMBER 14TH 2015    BIBRA LAKE              NUMBER OF BIRDS 740

Australian Grebe 24, Australian Shoveller 50,  Black Swan 24 six cygnets, Blue bill Duck 4, Coot 107,  Dusky Moorhen 2, Great Egret 4, Grey Teal 81,

Hard head 17, Hoary headed grebe 68, Little Black cormorant 2, Little Pied Cormorant 2, Little Egret in breeding plumage 1, Maned Wood duck 1, Musk duck 14, Pacific black 124,  Pink eared duck 50, Sacred Ibis 8, straw necked Ibis 2, Glossy Ibis 2 Great Crested Grebe 4, Swamp Harrier 1 Clamorous Reed Warbler 1,

Shell duck 57, Silver Gull 85, Purple Swamp Hen 5, White faced Heron 2

APRIL 18TH 2015           BIBRA LAKE               NUMBER OF BIRDS 696,

154 Shovelers, 23 black fronted Dotterels, 1 glossy Ibis, 1 Greenshank, 9 red necked Avocets, 40 yellow billed Spoonbills

APRIL 3RD 2015            SOUTH LAKE               NUMBER OF BIRDS - 5

2 Pacific ducks on water, one Little egret flying, pair of Purple swamp hens nesting on slashed typha.

Department of parks and wildlife have slashed two vantage access points through the typha.  The lake is inundated right up to the bank so Carol and I couldn't walk out through the typa to the lake.  Therefore being able to view the lake is minimal.  

MARCH 21ST 2015        LITTLE RUSH LAKE     NUMBER OF BIRDS  -101

A greenshank and two black-fronted dotterels, white faced herons, crested grebes, pacific blacks, teal ducks 

FEBRUARY 6TH 2015    NORTH LAKE

Viewed from western side to panorama view on the north.

NORTH LAKE  NUMBER OF BIRDS - 318

Extra special siting were 3 juvenile pink eared ducks, 10 black fronted dotterels 12 black fronted plovers and a red kneed plover.

The predominant duck was grey teal.

FEBRUARY 13TH NORTH LAKE from north east corner of lake clockwise to where the count was finished on the 6th feb.

102 water birds. A pair of blue fairy wrens sitting on a melaleuca bough.

FEBRUARY 14TH 2015 BIBRA LAKE

1476  water birds inluding many Australian shovelers, pink eared ducks, three baillon crakes, some red kneed dotterels, 20 sandpipers, possibly sharp tiled and yellowbilled      spoonbills

February 21st  2015 YANGEBUP LAKE

754 water birds including many diving ducks, 48 blue bill, 79 pink eared, 77 hard head ducks and at least 100 hoary headed grebes.

At both Bibra and Yangebup lakes looking into the light was a problem for counters.  WSater levels were higher than this time last year.

  NORTH LAKE

158 BIrds

Large number of swans, 8 nests, 31 pacific black, 21 shell duucks, 17 purple swamp hens, one on nest, 3 white faced herons, one pacific heron, Litttle Egret   

Six metre depth of water

       

These photographs are at Bibra Lake taken from the birds hide.

  swans nest      hard head

 

 

 

JULY 12th 2014                       BIBRA LAKE               

1,098 birds

Wonderful to see blue bills and pink eared ducks by the jetty.2014

JULY 19TH   2014                     SOUTH LAKE

64 birds

The overabundance of typha limits the view of the lake. Australian Ibis and Pacific black  ducks were only sighted when flyingSH LAKE

JULY 26TH 2014                       LITTLE RUSH LAKE

19 BIRDS

LAKE one metre deep, a pair of black swans nesting.

FEBRUARY 22ND 2014            YANGEBUP LAKE

850 BIRDS  

Large number of diving ducks  69 blue-billed ducks,  54 musk ducks,  79 Hardheads.     Non diving ducks   262  Pacific blacks  146 grey Teal

 

 

NOVEMBER BIRD COUNT

2013  BIBRA LAKE                                          2012

701                                                                 562

BROODS 14                                                         4

NORTH LAKE

115 (1black-winged stilt)                                273

broods 2 including brood of                             66 Black-winged stilts

Pacific black duck at Frog Swamp                       

100% cover                                                      70% cover as a collection of shallow pools

SOUTH LAKE

50 roosting and flying sacred Ibis                      188

1 Pacific black

Extremely difficult to access lake in addition to 

abundant amount of typha that inhibits adequate

viewing of lake.

LITTLE RUSH LAKE

96                                                                 129

broods nil                                                           1

encroaching typha

SEPTEMBER 2013 OBSERVATIONS TO SHARE

 2013 Pink-eared ducklings at Market garden swamp being checked out by an inquisitive Pacific (White-necked Heron)

 

Rainbow bee eaters have been seen by the invasive Hardenbergia around Bibra Lake.  The following photos were taken on Go Go Station in the Kimberleys.  The little girl is displaying the dead bee-eater that flew into a window used the extended tail feathers for her puppet!

 

 

FRIENDS INAUGURAL YANGEBUP LAKE BIRD COUNT - AUGUST 31ST 2013

A total of 87 waterbirds were counted on  wild, wet, windy morning. There could be some duplications as counters started at different times because of the weather.

NORTH LAKE BIRD COUNT - SEPTEMBER 20TH

On a fine, sunny. breezy day three Friends and a visitor ounted 151 waterbirds. Of special interest was  flock of 16 Glossy Ibis, 3  appearances of White Necked Heron,                                         a creche of 15 Pacific Black ducks, a brood elsewhere of 9 Pacific young.  on frog swamp a brood of 3 Shelduck.  It was great to see North Lake full.

Whilst about 10 % of the lake has typha most is not too dense for present viewing.

BIBRA LAKE BIRD COUNT - JULY 13TH, 8am

This bird count was quite difficult because haze on the lake plus a weak sun made viewing difficult, however 2,156 water birds were eventually recorded.

A pair of Chestnut teal were on the bank at the lake's north west corner.  Along the southern sided a flock of over 100 black winged stilts flew and others were feeding along the typha edge way from the bank.  Many silhouetted ducks were huddled close to the vegetated, sloped bank.  There were three groups of up to six grey teal each almost touching the beak of the others as they were turned inwards as if trying to keep warm  Marsh harriers were hovering low over typha both off the southern and nor'western sides 

JUNE 8TH BIRD OBSERVATION WALK AROUND YANGEBUP LAKE

Members of the 'Friends' group visited Yangebup Lake to observe the accessibility of being able to successfully see the whole lake.  At the first spot - by the Living Stream area, we were able to access a significant part of the Lake.Our first excitment was a Black Shouldered Kite followed by Port Lincoln Ringneck, at least fifty pink eared ducks, musk, grey teal,  shoveller, Australian grebe, coot, black swan, bronze wing pigeon.

We then drove round to the opposite side of the lake and to our delight saw reed warblers, fairy wrens, red wattle birds, hard head, grey teal, shoveller, blue bill ducks.  Also a pair of Kokaburras, butcher bird, fantail, striated pardelote, willie wagtail, black shouldered kite being chased by two magpies and a monarch butterfly feeding on a single bottlebrush.

Both vantage points are suitable spots by which to successfully view the lake.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH BIRD COUNTS

Bibra Lake 9th March 2013

1236 water birds were counted including 3 marsh sandpipers near older eastern boardwalk and 17 glossy ibis at southern end.  estimated water cover was about 8%

North, South & Little Rush Lakes had no surface water

South Lake 16th March 2013

A Barn Owl flew in about 9.15am to perch on a bare branch about 50 metres back from the southern shore.  It observed us and we reciprocated.  A collared sparrow hawk perched about 20 metres from us on a low branch of the inner southern shore.

 

 

BIRD WALK AT YANGEBUP LAKE FEBRUARY 16TH 2013

What a enjoyable walk it was, great company, calm, clear day.  The lake was well populated by waders, black-winged stilts bobbing around the edge and two flying over; Australasian , Hoary-headed grebes, Pelicans, black Swans, Grey Teal, Pink-eared, Hardhead, Pacific black, Blue-billed, Musk ducks. Our walk ended with a wonderful sighting of a clamorous reed warbler close by in the reeds.

 

BIRD WALK AT WOODMAN'S POINT DECEMBER 15TH 2012

We encountered a black shouldered kite in the car park before we had even started. We were thrilled to see most of the birds  we saw the week before at the Shorebird workshop organised by 'Birdlife Australia'.  There were 6 Avocets, 2 pied cormorants flying and red-capped plovers, pelicans sited while walking to the point.  What a joy when we arrrived as there was an abundance of birds hanging out on the rocks, crested, Caspian terns, Pied, little Pied cormorants and in amongst all these large birds were red-capped plovers and ruddy turnstones. 

It was wonderful to have another successful day by the ocean with good company.

 

BIRD COUNTS FOR NOVEMBER 2012

                              Totals Nov 2012                  Totals 2011

NORTH LAKE          273                                        380

                              inc 66 black wing stilts          incl. 12 black wing stilts

                              15th Nov incidental sighting                                             

                              red kneed dotterel 

                                                      

SOUTH LAKE          188                                        165

                              85% Aust Ibis                        85% Aust ibis

                              Thick vegetation lake edge

                              View obscured by typha 

LITTLE RUSH LAKE 128                                       59

                              1 black wing stilt searching

                              for shallow water

                             4 raptors, Little eagle,

                             Whisling kite, Aust. Kestral

                             Swamp harrier

BIBRA LAKE 2012 BIRD COUNTS

MARCH     2187      JULY     1941     NOVEMBER     562     NOVEMBER 2011 - 512

The lake was full covered with 15% Typha.  Pacific Black ducks (200) were the most abundant, grey teal (69) coots (43) Black Swans (52) Shelducks (33.

 

BIRD WALK TO NEW BIRD HIDE 20TH SEPTEMBER 2012

The new bird hide was officially opened last week at the Festival of the Lakes.  Our Friends group visited the hide and were delighted to see two swan families with their cygnets that are almost the size of their parents.  Four Great Egrets flew in and two in breeding plumage made their presence felt by aggressively interacting with each other.  Other sightings were a Pacific Heron, a couple of Australasian Grebes, pair of Dusky Moorhens, Swamp Hen, couple of male Musk ducks diving and making their distinctive pinging call, numerous Coots, some Hardheads, lone Blue-billed duck, also a Shelduck flew onto the lake and a whistling kite hovered overhead.

Marion standing on the new board walk. Lots of new growth on the BHP Billiton plantings. Friends group bird watching.

                                                                

BLACKWALL REACH BICTON WALK 8TH SEPTEMBER 2012

This area is a hive of activity for both people and birds along the pathway and on the river. Cyclists, walkers, canoeists, kyakers, boaters, sail boarders, birds flying swooping, hovering, feeding, perching, singing.  Wonderful, breezy, sunny day to be mixing with such active company.

There were 2 lots of Red-tailed black cockatoos flitting backwards and forwards across the river from North Fremantle, pair of Osprey surveying the river for their anticipated next feed, black-faced cuckoo shrikes perched on dead branches. Ubiquitious Lorrikeets using a parrot nesting box, sadly Port Lincoln parrots being pushed out.  White-cheeked honey eaters and striated pardelotes merrily flitting in and out of the numerous flowering shrubs along with red wattle, New Holland and Brown honeyeaters.

Flying in were Shell ducks, Pied cormorants, a darter and well over 60 little billed Corellas furiously fluttering around while we watched a Whistling Kite fly in above the trees by the cafe.

 

YANGEBUP LAKE BIRD WALK 25TH AUGUST 2012

What a stunning place to be, no wind, clear skies, cool to begin with  then warming up to a plethora of bird activity.     Australasian grebes, pacific black, shell, musk duck plainitively calling, two pairs of swans, one with four cygnets, a lone pelican and  Australasian Ibis bobbing on the water; Tree martins mingling with Welcome swallows whizzing over the water.

Raptors seen were Whistling and a black-shouldered kite.  We had a superb view of the black shouldered kite hovering,  catching its prey and then dropping it close by .

We were also thrilled to see both red-capped and Port Lincoln ringneck parrots flying closely together.

NORTH LAKE BIRD WALK 18TH AUGUST 2012

It was a cool start although sunny the lake was misty at the far end.  Most of the lake is covered with reeds, only two pockets of shallow water.  It was initially very quiet then firstly four Pacific black ducks flew in and landed in the nearside pond, then eighty plus Shell ducks flew in and eventually landed on the far side of the lake. Other water birds seen were swans, pair with 4 four cygnets., Pacific black with 6 ducklings, swamp hen, grey teal, white faced heron, Pacific heron, Australasian Ibis, Black-winged stilts, Australian Kestrel.

AUSTRALIAN KESTREL

November Waterbird Counts

Bibra Lake - The specials were 4 Crested Grebes, 13 Bluebill Ducks and one Coot's nest in front of the Typha at the Northern end of the lake.

December Waterbird Counts

North Lake - we were treated with a panorama of many mobile waterbirds. Over 200 Grey Teal, about 20 Shovellers, 3 Bluebilled ducks and at least 9 Pinkeared ducks. About 100 Pacific Black Ducks flew over, probably disturbed by a Swamp Harrier. There were a couple of Little Pied Cormorants, 9 White-faced Heron, 2 Yellow-billed Spoonbills, 2 Little Egrets and 1 Great Egret.

The most uncommon and exciting sighting was of a Nankeen (Rufous) Night Heron as it rose then disappeared into tall Eucalypts on the western side of the reserve.

Little Rush Lake - this bird walk seemed pretty ordinary, until near the end of our walk, we saw a Bluebilled Duck and a female Darter close to the northern shore and in low vegetation covering the northern side of the island respectively.

Comparisons of Waterbird Counts for November 2010 and 2011

Years                             2011            2010

Bibra Lake                     512              3530

North Lake                    457                376

South Lake                    165               124

Little Rush Lake              59               135

WATER BIRD COUNT BIBRA LAKE February 6th

Friends counted waterbirds at Bibra Lake for the Birdlife Australia Shorebird 20-20 project.  We totalled at least 960 birds, at least  85% water coverage of the lake.  Typha orientalis is well established at the northern end & is encroaching southwards. 
Most numerous were Eurasian coots & Pacific Black Ducks, each 238; Australian Shoveler 91 & Grey Teal 89. 68 Black Swan were present with one brood of 6 cygnets.  26 Blackwinged stilts foraged along the southwestern & southeastern side of the lake.  Of special note were 8 Glossy Ibis & 2 or 3 broods of Crested Grebe. Compare these results with those of 5th Feb, 2011 when only 5% of the lake was water covered.  178 birds were counted in total with 42 Pacific Black Ducks, 58 Silver Gulls, & 52 Blackwinged Stilts heading the list

FRIENDS OF COCKBURN WETLAND WATER BIRD COUNT 10TH MARCH 2012

FRECKLED DUCKS!

A total of 2427 birds were counted. There were Greenshanks, Glossy Ibis, Yellow Spoonbills, Osprey.  However the most excitment was generated by the identification of two freckled ducks among the many birds present. We will have to go back through the records to see how rare this appearance is.

WATER BIRD COUNT 17TH MARCH SOUTH LAKE

A total of 36 birds were counted, Sacred Ibis being the most prominent.  The lake is shallow, knee deep for the Ibis that were feeding by the edge. 

WATER BIRD COUNT 25TH MARCH LITTLE RUSH LAKE

There was still water in the lake albeit very suitable for waders. A total of 116 birds counted, 6 Avocets, 5 white faced Herons,

1 Shoveller 35 Pacific black ducks, 30 grey Teal, 5 Shellducks, 4 Australian Ibis, 11 straw necked Ibis 19 black winged stilts plus a few bush birds.

 

BIBRA LAKE BUSH WALK  12th MAY

It was a glorious day for walking in the bush. lovely to see plenty of flowering  Banksia menzeii with Red wattle birds, Singing and New Holland honey eaters busily feeding of them.  We saw a small amount of miseltoe but it is not yet flowering.  The regular bush birds delighted us with their melodies, Magpies, Magpie larks, Willie wagtails, Rufous whistler and black- faced cuckoo-shrike.

We were delighted to see a significant amount of water in the lake with a strip of vegetation in the middle that supported over 100 black swans, a couple of shell ducks and a few Ausralasian Ibis. However at the edge of the lake were about 50 black winged stilts and 17 Glossy black Ibis all busily feeding.  The glossy Ibis is smaller and more graceful than the Australasian and straw necked species and is seen more in tropical regions.

 

NORTH LAKE BUSH WALK MAY 19TH

The Friends group met at the gate to North Lake for a sunny but initially cool start to a mellifluous morning.  A family of blue wrens were darting hither and thither close by frog swamp.  Although the lake is completely dry, as the day warmed up it took on an ethereal quality with the mist delicately rising.  The flowering Banksia menzeii trees are attracting Singing, New Holland and Red Wattle birds.

We saw numerous Ibis, Shell ducks flying and then to our great delight a flock of fifty six Carnaby Cockatoos noisily flew over us close to the pylon.  A treat was waiting for us at the end of our walk for by the gate was a pair of crested Pigeons busily feeding.

 

YANGEBUP LAKE WALK  26th MAY

What a glorious day to be walking around a tranquil lake very close to the water's edge.  A group of Splendid Fairy-wrens thought so too for they were bobbing in and out of the rushes close to the lake and also a lone Black -fronted plover ( Elseyornis melanops) was busily feeding close by the margin of the lake. 

True to their name, three wood ducks were perched on old stumps of wood jutting out of the water,  then several more flew in but alas no more wooden perches for them.  In fact the lake was a dynamic scene of activity. A few Musk ducks and Australasian grebes continually engaged in diving in front of a significant number of resting water birds  We were admiring the pink- eared ducks scattered among the grey teal, shovellers and shell  ducks when in flew 20 more of them. More exitement came about when three swans make their entrance gracefully gliding into the water, then sixteen Glossy Ibis flew over. We saw a flock of seventeen Glossy Ibis at Bibra Lake on the 12th May bush walk and speculated as to whether the missing one decided on a sleep in!  After enduring the racket from  the ubiquitous rainbow lorrikeets ad nauseum we were delighted to see a Ringneck parrot flying over the bush area. 

GLOSSY IBIS Plegadis falcinellus

The more northerly populations are fully migratory. They often nest in mixed species colonies often roosting nocturnally in flocks some distance from feeding areas.  Thy feed in shallow water and nest in fresh or brackish wetlands in dense reeds, rushes, low trees or bushes around margins of lakes, or marshland. Their nest are platforms of twigs and vegetation above water in emergent vegetation or shrubs growing in water.

They are the smallest of the three species of Ibis in Australia, 50 - 53 cms long and a non- breeding visitor to Tasmania and South West Western Australia.

JULY BIRD COUNTS 2012

                                    2011                                     2012

BIBRA                             767                                     1941  (14th July)

Pacific Black                    293                                       735

Grey Teal                        231                                       554

Pink Ears                         nil                                           38 to 67 (duplication?)

Hardhead                          56                                           1 (many near western boardwalk on 19/7)

Black Swans                      18                                       167

 

SOUTH                             34                                          67 (inc 1 brood 5 cygnets with parents, 1Pacific Black up a tree)              

NORTH                            112                                          53 (inc 25 newly hatched Pacific Blacks, very dry, few large puddles)

                                        6 swan nests                         1 swan nest

LITTLE RUSH                   16                                            51 ( very low water levels)

Marion Shaw estimated 98% water cover at Bibra Lake including that between dying Typha