Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jack Smith Lake

Last weekend, Duncan and I enjoyed the interesting experience of observing the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, carry out a small mammals survey at the Giffard Flora Reserve. I’m always encouraged when I come across people with such passion for our environment. Here’s a link to an album of Duncan’s pictures.

While we were there, it was evident that the birds were very quiet. The old Saw Toothed Banksias were not in flower, although some of the eucs on the sand ridge had plenty of blossom. After we left the group on day two, we headed down to Jack Smith Lake which is quite nearby. Jack Smith Lake is right behind the sand dunes on the coast, and the coastal Banksias here were well in flower.

After checking the ‘salt flats’ and counting near 100 Blue-winged Parrots, and ticking White-fronted Chats and Striated Field Wrens, we headed for the car park area for lunch and were greeted by a strong Crescent Honeyeater call as we got out of the vehicle. Blue Wrens and Silvereyes dashed among the lower scrub while Little Wattlebirds and New Holland Honeyeaters chased each other in the tree tops.

A few Crested Terns preened themselves on top of some posts and a Brown Falcon did its hovering act above a nearby field and a pair of Red-capped Dotterels skitted about on the mud flats.

Neither of us had been to Jack Smith Lake for some time, so it was rewarding to see the number of parrots. The main lake is still the only body of water. Like everywhere else around here, the place is crying out for some decent rain.



  1. Would love to see Blue-winged Parrots and all the other birds you mention that we don't get here great photos of the New Hollands this is one we do get up this way.

  2. I enjoyed Duncan's photos of the work at the Gifford flora reserve. Especially good to see there were some young helpers as well.
    The photos of the birds are great. Nice to compare my photos of White-cheeked Honeyeaters with which I am more familiar with yours of the New Holland Honeyeaters. It certainly would be nice to see all those parrots.

  3. Hi Gouldiae
    Nice post, and great to see Duncan's photos of the small mammal trapping exercise.
    Your "Little Wattlebird" has a yellow patch on its belly, which is very naughty of it, for that is meant to be one of the distinguishing marks of the Red Wattlebird.
    Nice photo, and clearly a "Little WB". I am not querying your ID. Just shows that birds can break the "rules", just as with Orchids, etc.

  4. Hi Gouldiae,

    what a fabulous write up of your encounter with the delights of nature. I have never seen the Blue-winged Parrots - how wonderful to know that they are doing so 'well'.

    Very interesting observations of Denis regarding the Little Wattle Bird.

    A most interesting spot of reading at this early hour to start my day - thank you.


  5. Gaye,
    You are too kind, but thanks!
    You're right Denis,
    I hadn't spotted that yellow infusion - very subtle.
    Thanks Mick,
    Yep, the parrot sightings were a plus, we hadn't expected too much.
    G'day Neil,
    One day I'd like to see what you guys have up there too. Just gotta live long enough!
    Regards all,