Please click on photos to enlarge.
|Ormiston Gorge - this desert waterhole habitat could not be more different from the Sale Common wetlands.|
|One of five White-necked Herons on the rocks above a water hole in Ormiston Gorge.|
|This bird was hunting fish along the rocky edge of the gorge.|
|A dingo was looking for food along the waterhole – it eventually walked close behind me as I watched the White-necked Herons on the other rocky side of the gorge. The dingo found a freshly dead fish in reeds about 6 metres from me.|
|The heron plucked a live fish from the waterhole just as the dingo found its fish breakfast among reeds no more than 10 metres away.|
Returning to Sale Common:
|The bird has a long and strong neck and a formidable dagger bill.|
Further along I came across an adult White-necked Heron in non-breeding plumage stalking along the water’s edge and watched it capture several very small fish all about 2 centimetres long at most.
|White-necked Heron, adult – the dark spots on the neck indicate non-breeding condition.|
|The heron has caught something small?|
|The heron glanced my way from time to time to make sure I was not a threat.|
|The heron continues to look for more prey – at times it is poised motionless with eyes in concentrated focus.|
|Finally I captured a photo showing a small fish – the other fish caught were swallowed very quickly – too quickly to capture with the camera.|
|The heron continued hunting.|
|The Great Egret strode with purpose across the water to the shore where the White-necked Heron was hunting.|
|The Egret approached the Heron with purpose – it was clear to me the Egret was asserting control over this hunting territory.|
|As the egret closed in the heron moved away.|
The smaller White-necked Heron gave way to the larger Egret and took to the air.
They have a remarkably wide wingspan.
|A small fish is just visible near the tip of the heron’s bill.|
|An Azure Kingfisher flew in to hunt on the same fallen tree as the White-faced Heron.|
The 45 minute stroll in a small section of Sale Common yielded plenty of action and interest including the resolution of a minor territorial dispute.