Visiting a swamp is like a box of chocolate! You never know what you’re going to get. Brolgas and Sarus Cranes are the most anticipated birds on every birdwatcher’s watch list. I wasn’t lucky enough to get a decent photo opportunity to capture these graceful dancing birds, but there was an abundance of entertainment to be seen.
Hasties Swamp is a well-known wetland on the Atherton Tablelands. Birdwatchers from near and far flock in to watch feathered flocks of residential or migratory birds. Up to 220 bird species are best monitored from the two-storey bird hide. This aquatic environments of open water, reeds, muddy edges and sedge land vary with the cycle of wet and dry seasons.
Water lilies favour slow running waters and add colour to an already colourful environment.
The calm dark waters acted as a giant mirror.
The high standing sun glared over these floating greens like a giant disco ball.
Right in between the muddy reed edge stood this White Heron. He was motionless and pointed his long beak right at his target, a successful hunting strategy.
I hope I didn’t scare him off.
Hastings Swamp was swamped with ducks. These are Whistling Ducks who congregate in large numbers over this vast wetland. There appeared to be two different character types of ducks.
A smaller group was rather relaxed and pondered on with duck business.
There’s always time for a clean followed by a good wing stretch.
The reflections on rippled waters looked quite fabulous.
Then there was this flock, scrambled on a fallen tree in shallow waters.
Living on the edge, scouts were monitoring movement in all directions. There certainly was a breath of anxiety in the air.
A chain reaction caused panic within this flock.
The ones that didn’t react as quickly used the runway to getaway. A false alarm was eventually given for the ducks to return.
Cormorants had meanwhile taken over the best feather drying spots. First come, first serve.
However, the peace didn’t last long.
It wasn’t long before the ducks took to the air again.