Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

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.

A reed stalker at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

A reed stalker at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

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.

Colourful combination at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Colourful combination at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Water lilies favour slow running waters and add colour to an already colourful environment.

Water Lilies in sepia at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Water Lilies in sepia at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The calm dark waters acted as a giant mirror.

Natural reflections at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Natural reflections at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The high standing sun glared over these floating greens like a giant disco ball.

Zooming in on his prey at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Zooming in on his prey at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

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.

Trying other hunting grounds at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Trying other hunting grounds at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

I hope I didn’t scare him off.

Swamped with ducks at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Swamped with ducks at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

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.

Collective calmness at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Collective calmness at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

A smaller group was rather relaxed and pondered on with duck business.

Duck stretch at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Duck stretch at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

There’s always time for a clean followed by a good wing stretch.

Rippled reflections at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Rippled reflections at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The reflections on rippled waters looked quite fabulous.

Scrambling ducks at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Scrambling ducks at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Then there was this flock, scrambled on a fallen tree in shallow waters.

No sign of danger just yet at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

No sign of danger just yet at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Living on the edge, scouts were monitoring movement in all directions. There certainly was a breath of anxiety in the air.

Intruders! Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Intruders! Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

A chain reaction caused panic within this flock.

Take of runway at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Take of runway at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

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 move in  at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Cormorants move in at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Cormorants had meanwhile taken over the best feather drying spots. First come, first serve.

 

Calm before the storm at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Calm before the storm at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

However, the peace didn’t last long.

Another fluttering escape  at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Another fluttering escape at Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

It wasn’t long before the ducks took to the air again. 

2 thoughts on “Hasties Swamp, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

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