Russell Woodford <>
Fri, 4 Apr 1997 01:25:47 +1000 (EST)
Intermediate Egret (pair)
Grey Goshawk (pair)
Belmont Common and nearby areas seem to be good spots for picking up some
of the more elusive waterbirds at the moment. You will need both time and
patience, but the rewards are there!
Belmont Common is beside the golf course of the same name, bounded by the
Barwon River, Prince's Hway and Barwon Heads Roads. The Geelong Field
Nat's have a small hide overlooking one part of the wetland. Don't be
fooled by the location of the hide - it really is quite useful.
Lawrie Conole & I (plus a number of others) have seen the Spotless Crake
and Buff-banded Rail from this hide in the last week. Also quite a number
of Black-fronted Dotterel, WF Chat and Little Grassbirds. No sign of the
Baillon's Crake, although there have been reports of young over this
summer. The Lewin's Rail sighting (which is claimed most years) has not
been verified for this year - but everyone knows someone ELSE who knows
SOMEONE who has seen one there!
Both Intermediate and Great Egrets pop in from time to time, and yesterday
there was a Black-winged Stilt.
Nearby, at Balyang Sanctuary (beside the Barwon River where Shannon Ave
crosses) they have rebuilt the boardwalks washed away in the last floods.
There is also a monstrous hide overlooking some reeds and dry mud - but
anything in front of the hide would be disturbed by anyone walking to it.
It really is in an odd place, and has gaping holes at knee-level (why?)
but would make a very pleasant picnic shelter.
Normally Balyang is best known for its large number of feral ducks and
geese. This week it also had a pair of White phase Grey Goshawks
bothering the gulls, a pair of Intermediate Egrets right beside the
car-park, and the usual 100s of lorikeets and cormorants. A Darter has
been present for more than 12 months - you can usually see it if you
across the river from the northern bank, just downstream from the bridge.
You might see Rufous night Herons in the same spot during the day.
Thanks to Lawrie Conole who helped me find Southern Emu Wren at the spot
above Anglesea. We heard Chestnut-rumped Hylacola as well. The other
highlight was an Olive Whistler which stayed within a few meters for
several minutes. Next time I'll take faster film or a smaller lens.
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