thanks to Rohan Clarke and others for directions for finding the Hudsonian
Godwit. I thought it might be worthwhile clarifying a few points about access to
the areas it uses.
1. The ponds at which the bird seems to be spending most of its roosting time
are part of the Western Treatment Plant and you need a permit from Melbourne
Water to drive that far down the Pt Wilson Rd. These ponds are actually known as
the 'T Section Lagoons', they are further south than the Austin Rd lagoons.
2. All land carrying saltmarsh, ie below high tide level, to the south and east
of the T Section Lagoons is incorporated in The Spit Nature Conservation Reserve
and is managed by Parks Victoria. A separate permit from Parks Victoria is
required to enter the Nature Conservation Reserve. Current policy is that
permits will only be given for research and monitoring purposes, by bone fide
researchers or volunteers helping with official monitoring programs.
3. Therefore, as Rohan pointed out, if the godwit flies south to the upper
saltmarsh or east across the Pt Wilson Rd to feed in the lagoon, sand spits or
lower saltmarsh of the Nature Conservation Reserve you have no choice but to
watch it from a distance. You can set up a scope on the most seaward embankment
of the most seaward sewage lagoon, but that is as close as one can get.
4. Therefore, it makes sense to time your visit to coincide with high tide.
5. Please try hard not to flush it. It and the Black-tailed Godwits probably
need all the rest they can get. [so that you know I'm doing as I preach, I will
not go and disturb this bird because I saw a Hudwit in Tas a few years ago]
Hopefully, this might prevent some embarrassing encounters with rangers.
member, Western Treatment Plant Wildlife Consultative Committee
Senior Wildlife Policy Officer
Parks, Flora and Fauna Program
Dept of Natural Resources and Environment
PO Box 500
East Melbourne Vic 3002