A new bird drops by…

I walked along Elster Creek and into the wetlands a few weeks ago and watched a large Heron circle the wetlands and land in the shallow water. It attracted my attention as it was larger than usual and had a different flight shape – I had first thought it was a white-faced heron, but it did not look right. I moved along the edge of the wetlands until I could get a better view and was surprised to find a White-necked Heron. The first I have seen locally. I have usually seen them much further inland. While watching the heron two more came from behind the reeds and were immediately harassed by the roosting Silver Gulls. The local birds are not used to this large Heron and were dive bombing the herons when they moved around the wetlands hunting. When spooked the Heron raises its neck feathers in an aggressive display to make it look bigger and meaner. The three herons hunted around the small lake for the day and then moved on. I have not seem them since. There are many reports of this species around Melbourne at the moment and I believe that after a good breeding season further inland to the north they are now moving around as the inland wetlands dry out in late summer.

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

Silver Gulls were harassing the Heron as it hunted in the shallows

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

III

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

A Juvenile White-necked Heron

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

V

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

VI

 

2 responses to “A new bird drops by…

  1. It’s beautiful. All I’ve seen here in western New York State is the blue heron. Seems to be pretty common.

    Like

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