Lake Lorne, in Drysdale, is meant to be one of the best places to see the Blue Billed duck and freckled ducks. I lived in Clifton Springs for nine months and walked the Bellarine Rail Trail. Despite my history, it took a trip to Canberra for me to learn about the birdlife. Thank you to the bird nerd ranger I met atTidbinbilla.
I missed the Bellarine. It’s so beautiful. However….
Freckled ducks freckled ducks FRECKLED DUCKS! Random tip: they have little tufts of hair on their head, sort of like a mohawk
Oh I’m sorry, did I spoil it?
Let’s go back to the begining
I was pretty confident taking Glenn to Lake Lorne. I new the railway station there would interest him, even if the birds didn’t. Of course, he was so obsessed looking at the camera that he missed out on some flight shots. I ended up getting several as I nicked the Canon. It had better focus and I wanted to be able to identify birds. I know how much Glenn loves flight photos so I tried to get heaps, even when I though the ibises were boring.
They so sound like chickens when they are calling! 🙂 I loved that.
I’m getting better at birds-in-flight photography. It’s easier for me as I have better eyesight and intuition.
We saw this dude, who is a little miner. Generic but I needed SOMETHING for my list. Especially as I dipped on the blue billed duck. We ended up walking on the path around the lake; cautiously moving closer when necessary.
I have no idea what these two are. Maybe a grebe?
These two links have tips to tell the two types of grebe apart:
Maybe a musk duck? The beaks are pretty small. I kinda don’t care at this point; I tend to crack it after about 20 minutes of consistent confusion.
Not sure what this is; all I know is the tail is unusual. And that Glenn has been hearing me say ‘Birds are stupid’ all morning, apparantly. I’m guessing it’s a common koel and will be googling more later.
How do other new birders, who aren’t yet part of a community, get help with identification?
Hoary headed grebe.
I don’t know what this is and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to tell, since I primarily have a silhouette to go by. Judging by the wing curve and feather shapes, I’m guessing a harrier or kite. It would be awesome if it was a whistling kite, Glenn loves those.
A pelican flying away. Again, something Mr. Sexypants missed.
On the other side of the lake, there was two groups of swans. Neither had cygnets (although the pair at Mcleods Waterhole did.) One pair had it’s feathers raised and were honking at each other. I don’t think it’s a mating ritual as such but it was incredibly cute. Glenn was sitting close while I was getting photos of them from another angle. We also did the obligatory photos of each other taking photos.
This was very easy to access from Lake Lorne. It was a very short walk. I did have to use the maps function on my phone to find where the smaller waterhole was.
The main one was very empty, and I was very disappointed. No ducklife – what a waste of a trip! There was these two birds in a tree:
The bottom is the normal white faced heron. I’ve seen them a couple of times and they are always a delight. The bottom is a great cormorant; you can tell because of the orange under the neck.
We then found the other waterhole. I had a hunch that this was it. The ducks were a lot closer then the Lake lorne. PINK EARED DUCKS! The are so quirky; I’ll never get sick of photographing them. I sat down quietly to get photos, even if it meant the grass obscured the view occasionally.
Here are the pink eared ducks amongst the freckled ones.
It was a great afternoon out. Close enough so that it isn’t a major trek via public transport. It was nostalgic, in a way. Glenn enjoyed it as we got a got to see horsies and a beehive up close. I would have loved to photograph the buildings in the township but someone needed his old man nap and we chose to return another day.
Next time, I’ve love to spend part of the day here and part of it in Portarlington. I plan to visit several place by myself to birdwatch/walk, as I know Glenn wouldn’t be interested.
Really wish we had better gear though, and that I had glimpsed a blue billed duck.
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