Australia’s rarest waterfowl, the freckled duck, has made a welcome return to the wetlands of the Derwent with two being spotted at Goulds Lagoon, Austins Ferry, earlier this month. It was with pure coincidence that a species endemic to Australia should arrive just as the duck hunting season was opening in the state. I’ve seen the freckled duck on several occasions at Goulds Lagoon after I first added it to my checklist of birds spotted in 2013. On that occasion, I had … [Read more...] about Freckled duck finds sanctuary in Tasmania
Archives for March 2018
The amateur has their place in science
Over the years I have been proud to declare myself a “citizen scientist” when I‘ve gone out to monitor bird numbers in places as far-flung as New York City, or the Glenorchy rubbish tip. The subject was seagulls on both occasions and although gulls might be considered by many a humble and non-attractive species I was happy to do my bit in the interests of research into their habits and numbers. I may have been making a mistake, however, proclaiming myself a citizen … [Read more...] about The amateur has their place in science
A precious space under threat
The autumnal sun shone hard and bright when a flock of tiny silvereyes started out on its epic migratory journey. From my vantage point atop Rosny Hill on the Eastern Shore I watched about 20 birds, male and female with young in tow, fluttering north in undulating flight cross the wide expanse of the Derwent River below me. Soon they became mere dots and I was pleased the young peregrine falcon which had patrolled the airspace above the Tasman Bridge last autumn and winter … [Read more...] about A precious space under threat
Where are all the eagles?
In the great wide world of wildlife, nothing in Tasmania compares with the sight of wedge-tailed eagles riding the thermals. They are truly awe-inspiring, with majestic statistics to match. The “wedgie” is the fourth biggest eagle in the world and the distinctive Tasmanian sub-species is the biggest found on the Australian continent. But the statistics related to the size and power of the eagles are matched by those that refer to its dwindling status. Although the eagle … [Read more...] about Where are all the eagles?
Montgomery steals the show
The founder of the Raptor and Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania, Craig Webb, set out more than a decade ago to provide a home for eagles coming to grief in mankind’s world. Over time Webb has released 20 injured wedge-tailed and sea eagles that have received tender, loving care at the refuge at Kettering but it is a bird actually born in one of the rehabilitation aviaries which has stolen the headlines in the past year. A masked owl called Montgomery has become a free-flying … [Read more...] about Montgomery steals the show