Today I had occasion to spend most of the day in Traralgon while a job was being done on the ute. You are probably not surprised that I spent a fair bit of the day with the camera at the beautiful Traralgon Res Wetlands on the outskirts of town. This piece of formerly neglected swampland has been turned into a wonderful wetland habitat that is a real bird magnet for quite a range of species.
My first encounter was with a charming Black Duck family, mum and six ducklings, on one of the lower ponds. They were a little wary of me at first, but I managed to sit quietly for a while and they became relatively accustomed to me and I snuck a few family portraits …
As I went to move on they swam off a little into a nearby bed of reeds. Suddenly there was a commotion and a Purple Swamphen shot out …
I felt a bit responsible, as it was my moving away that caused mum to take the family into cover. The duckling was well and truly alive as I chased the swamphen for a bit, but it wasn’t letting go. Eventually it flew to the opposite bank and along with a couple of mates settled down to enjoy a meal of fresh duckling as I slunk off.
Cutting through the bush up to the main pond, a small group of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos were surprised to see me and flew off to a nearby tree and a Willie Wagtail flew in to scold me for entering it's territory.
The main pond was alive with coots, moorhens, swamphens Black Ducks, Chestnut Teal, a Swan or two and a few ferals. One of the first reed warblers for the season was dashing about the reed beds being oddly very quiet.
Very pleasant spot, but tonight I'm still feeling a little guilty for probably causing the demise of one duckling.