Lake Coolah and Rocky Waterholes Outing - 29 January 2017

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Group on Rocky Waterholes BridgeDespite the unbelievably hot conditions, 12 brave members met at the Leeton Post Office at 5pm and headed to Lake Coolah where we were met by 2 more keen participants.

We set ourselves up under the shade of a lone gum tree by the roadside and actually enjoyed the birdwatching. Having 3 scopes helped everyone get good close looks at a pair of Brolgas as well as a good assortment of ducks and other waterbirds feeding close-by in the rapidly receding water of the northern section of the lake. Lots of egrets and herons were easy to identify and there were even some Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Spotted Crakes to be seen. In all at least 25 species were seen by most of the group before we packed up our gear and headed for Rocky Waterholes.

We arrived there about 6.30pm by which time the sun was quite low and the area was in total shade which made things more comfortable for us. The majority of the group crossed “Terry's” bridge and walked along the channel bank where they found 3 Koalas and an assortment of birds to make it all worthwhile. Just at the end of the bridge, in a small hollow in a red gum, a pair of White-breasted Woodswallows were feeding two fully fledged chicks which was a delight to see.

Neil Palframan had reported seeing a Little Bittern there on Australia Day so a couple of us were intent on waiting patiently to see if we could see it. The bittern didn't show but Phil Tenison saw 2 Latham's Snipe fly out of the swampy grass just near to where we were standing which was a good compromise to the bittern.

When people returned, we all settled on the bridge to have drinks and food and lots of chat. Even there lots of birds were seen flying up and down the channel heading for their roosts for the night.

In spite of the fear of it being too hot to venture out, the outing was most enjoyable and everyone seemed quite happy about coming along.