It’s the second to last week of the Sydney Olympic Park Spring Survey today. So another trip down Paramatta road, not so bad before six in the morning but even so it is a hassle. The survey starts at 6.30 am and it is a beautiful morning.
The Spring Survey is held on eight consecutive Tuesdays with over forty five sites surveyed each time. Again this bird survey has a long history, starting in 2004. When the Homebush area was reclaimed for the Sydney Olympics in 2000 a large area, 300 hectare, was set aside as parkland and for bush regeneration, resulting in a large area treed and landscaped and well served with paths for walkers, runners and cyclists. Habitats include estuarine and freshwater wetlands, remnant eucalypt forest, saltmarsh meadows and woodland bird habitats.
We have been assigned the Waterbird Refuge this year, a pond and mudflat separated from Homebush bay by narrow bushed causeways on two sides. The Refuge is tidal and the water level is controlled to retain a balance between deeper water and mudflat.
Not so many birds today, two weeks ago we counted over 600 individuals. But still an amazing number of Black-winged Stilts, Red-necked Avocets and Grey and Chestnut Teal ducks. In particular, Sharpie numbers are still up - over 40 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers for the second week. No Godwits today, they will be feeding on the mudflats outside the park.