07 July 2024

Back to my local patch

03 March 2024 - Glen Austin Pan

This was my first visit back to the Pan this year, primarily to having my Hilux in the panel beater for most of Jan/Feb. I spent around 2-hours in the early morning picking up most of the expected species.

There are usually a few different Duck species and today was no exception, photographing Red-billed Teal

Red-billed Teal (Anas erythrorhyncha)

Quite a few Blue-billed Teal's

Blue-billed Teal (Spatula hottentota)

This hybrid Cape Shoveler/Southern Pochard - or at least that is what I think it looks like

Southern Shoveler or Cape Pochard?

I was thrilled to see that there was a pair of Maccoa Ducks back on the pan, as they had disappeared for a few months. But as expected, they seem to stay right out in the middle of the pan

Maccoa Duck (Oxyura maccoa)

The Sacred Ibis breeding colony in the reed bed seems to be increasing in size

Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus)

However, Black-headed Heron's also seem to find some space in the reeds, to build their nests too

Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)

Along with a small number of Cattle Egret

Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Three-banded Plover's appeared to have bred, as there were a few juveniles foraging on the exposed mud 

Three-banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris)

In the same area, a few young Glossy Ibis were seen

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

Grey-headed Gull numbers really do fluctuate at the Pan

Grey-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus)

I found a diminutive Malachite Kingfisher perched patiently low down in the reeds

Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristata)

I heard a Northern Black Korhaan calling in the grasslands, so took a walk away from the Pan. I was met by a patrolling Police Reservist who warned to be vigilante (which I always am) - but it is pretty sad to think that you may have to carry a firearm when birding. I did continue and eventually found the male Korhaan when he flushed before I saw him. Lucky for me he circled back and landed in the grassland - my best view of these skittish Korhaan's at this site, so far

Northern Black Korhaan (Afrotis afraoides)

I did find a few Damselflies in the grass near the Pan shoreline, that I still need to ID

Damselfly sp.

All in all an enjoyable morning visiting the pan again and to see that the water levels were still relatively high.

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