Last Saturday, 10th May, Scott Chandry, John Boyce and myself went down
to Werribee Sewage Farm, between Melbourne and Geelong, Vic. It was an
amazing day's birding - here is a brief report of the highlights.
LONG-TOED STINT (1)
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (1)
Both together at the Paradise Rd mudflats! There is a trench which runs
parallel to Paradise Rd which passes under an old wooden walkway/bridge.
Both birds were feeding mostly behind the low rise which separates the
trench from the mudflats i.e. on the blind side of the rise wrt the road.
They were between the bridge and 100m or so back (west, I think i.e. away
from the Little River). We had to work to see them as there are only a few
places where there is a gap in the rise. Fred Smith and Fred ????, who
put us onto the birds (thanks guys!) said that this is the time of year to
see both Pectorals (20 were there a couple of weeks back - they gather at
the mudflats before migrating) and Long-toed Stints (they apparently move
through the area at this time) at Werribee. We got great views - at one
stage the birds were feeding side by side!
LEWIN'S RAIL (1)
Spotless Crake (1)
Buff-banded Rail (2+)
We spent some time scanning a 75m or so long reedbed beside the Little
River. Brief, but satisfying views were had of Lewin's Rail
(woo-hoo!) and Spotless Crake. Buff-banded Rails were much more
accomodating, feeding in the open and giving great views. Spotted Crakes,
which are usually the most common crake in the area, are absent from
Werribee at the moment.
To find the reed bed, cross the frord onto the Melbourne side of the river
and stop at the fist extensive reedbed you come to. If you get to a major
kink in the river you have come too far.
Australasian Bittern (1)
seen by the side of the main entrance road (Farm Rd?) just
before (few 100m) the T intersection. Rather than flushing, it went into
the typical head-up posture giving great views to one of us.
.---. .----------- Mark Bennett
/ \ __ / ------
/ / \( )/ -----
////// ' \/ ` ---
//// / // : : ---
// / / /` '--
P.S. A system crash has meant that I have lost a lot of e-mail - my apologies
if I never replied to you.