Kerang Lakes, Victoria, Australia

Report by Sally and Paul Bartho

28 December 2016

Sally and I are based in Bendigo with family. We decided to have a day away and go birding in the surrounding area.

Tim Dolby’s book “Where to see birds in Victoria” suggested we take a look at the Kerang Lakes – just over an hour’s drive north of Bendigo.

Kerang Lakes in relation to Bendigo and Melbourne
Kerang Lakes in relation to Bendigo and Melbourne

The Kerang Lakes are in a flood prone region where many rivers and creeks converge to fill wetland areas. The drive was through farm lands – very flat and not exactly attractive countryside (in our opinion).

After an hour and a half we arrived in Kerang close to our first attempt at birding – almost 07h00.

Kerang Lakes
Kerang Lakes

Based on the information in Tim Dolby’s book and the time we had available we decided to visit:

  • Fosters Swamp
  • Middle Lake
  • Lake Tutchewop
  • Round Lake and
  • Lake Boga.

All shown on the map above.

Fosters Swamp – a saline wetland with salt marshes round the edges was unfortunately dry. So no sightings of any waders. Needless to say we quickly left and headed for Middle Lake.

Middle Lake was a surprise. There were many birds – Ibises, numerous Ibises – Straw-necked, Australian White and Glossy – we were not surprised by the sign we saw at the entrance.

Ibis Rookery
Ibis Rookery

This was definitely the highlight of our day. The facilities were good – pathways and an unusually designed bird hide overlooking the rookery. The rookery included the full extent of Middle Lake and Ibises were everywhere. It was difficult to identify other species among them. But we did see a Little Pied Cormorant sitting on a dead branch. Even a Yellow-throated Miner was seen.

Unfortunately the day was very windy with the odd shower and birds were scarce. Despite that some birds were still long enough for a photo.

Overhead the air was constantly occupied with mainly Ibises as well as some Black Kites and Royal Spoonbills.

Moving on, we headed for Lake Tutchewop. Another very open lake with sparse vegetation around it. We were able to drive reasonably close passing a pair of Nankeen Kestrels flying beside us. Near the water we saw a number of water birds on the water’s edge some distance away. These included many Silver Gulls, Caspian Terns, some Whiskered Terns, a group of Red-necked Avocets as wells as many Red-capped Plovers.

An overhead White-faced Heron caught our attention.

White-faced Heron
White-faced Heron

Driving alongside the lake heading north on a dirt track we encountered Australian Pipits every hundred metres – not necessarily in ones or twos but at times up to six together foraging on the road ahead of us.

Our next stop was Lake Round to the west of the town called Lake Boga. The Lake was full and there were some ducks on the opposite side but in all not much of interest.

And lastly to the lake with the same name as the town – Lake Boga. Again disappointing as it was very difficult to get close to the lake’s edge and there was not much to see on the expanse of water.

And then it was back to Bendigo via a different route. Passing one pond by the road there was a family of Grey Teal, a pair of Masked Lapwings, a Australian Swamphen and this Black-winged Stilt. A Black-shouldered Kite flew overhead.

Black-winged Stilt

Back home in Bendigo we were entertained by this Blue-tongued Lizard trying to get indoors.

In all we recorded seeing 38 different bird species. See our list by clicking here.

Cheers and Happy New Year to you all.

Paul and Sally

Red-rumped Parrot
Red-rumped Parrot




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