Werribee birds

To: "'ozbird'" <>
Subject: Werribee birds
From: "Conole, Lawrie" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 11:33:52 +1000
To celebrate the first day of winter (?), a group of us ventured to the
Werribee Treatment Complex on Sunday afternoon for a spot of birding.
The weather was brilliant: sunny and still.

Grant Baverstock and Lawrie Conole coming from the Geelong direction
were distracted by a flock of 8 Banded Lapwings in a horse paddock in
the "town" of Little River.  Susan Myers and Stuart Dashper coming from
Melbourne only had roadworks and minor traffic chaos to keep them

At the lagoon on Paradise Road, we failed to find the Long-toed Stint,
even after scoping each of the dozens of Red-necked Stints there.  Two
weeks ago it was with some Curlew Sandpipers, but not this time.  A
young Glossy Ibis looked stunning in the winter sunshine.  Lake Borrie
still had hundreds of Australasian Shovellers and Pink-eared Ducks
amongst the legions of Chestnut Teal.  No Orange-bellied Parrots at the
Little River mouth this time, but one Sooty Oystercatcher amongst the
Pied Oycs was consolation enough.  

Then we decided to try our luck at the reed bed on Little River that
Scott Chandry and Mark Bennett have mentioned on the list.  A couple of
weeks ago when we went to this spot the tide was too high and we saw
nothing (except for a wintering Clamorous Reed-Warbler, or Australian
R-W if you use the list-enhancing taxonomy).  This time the tide was
right, and we had the luxury of excellent views of three different
Buff-banded Rails.  One BB Rail in particular was rather vigorous in its
foraging, lifting up chunks of macroalgae with its bill & tossing them
around like a turnstone on steroids.  After a while we were about to
leave when Grant got a glimpse of a smaller bird.  Persistence paid off,
and we all got a number of brief but excellent views of a foraging
Lewin's Rail (a lifer for some, bird of the day for all).

Lawrie Conole
Geelong, Victoria, Australia

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