Werribee sewage farm fantastic in Winter

To: "Birding-Aus Mail" <>
Subject: Werribee sewage farm fantastic in Winter
From: "Lawrie Conole" <>
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 18:11:55 +1000
Hi birders

I spent a couple of hours at Werribee sewage farm (the Western Treatment
Complex to be official) this afternoon.  This famous & smelly wetland is
about 30km southwest of Melbourne towards Geelong, and covers the area
between the Werribee and Little Rivers, plus a bit.

There were huge numbers of birds there today.  I clocked up 66 species in a
couple of hours, and of the species I made attempts to count (mostly ducks &
waders), I came up with about 15,000 birds.  There were at least 10,000
ducks on Lake Borrie and nearby ponds - mostly Pink-eared Duck, but with
sizeable numbers of Chestnut Teal and Australasian Shoveller.  I consider my
scope properly initiated now - with lovely views of a female Freckled Duck
about 50m away in good light (I saw 4 Freckled Ducks on Lake Borrie and the
big pond immediately to its west).  Other highlights included 4 Glossy Ibis,
a lone Black-tailed Godwit, about 30 Double-banded Plovers at the Little
River mouth, about 300 Red-necked Avocets (150 at Paradise Road, 150 at
Austin Road), about 100 Banded Stilts (50:50 at Paradise:Austin Roads); etc.

Here's my list, with some approximate counts for selected species.

Stubble Quail   1
Blue-billed Duck  20
Musk Duck    200
Freckled Duck   4
Black Swan    40
Australian Shelduck  50
Grey Teal    100
Chestnut Teal   3000
Pacific Black Duck  200
Australasian Shoveler  2500
Pink-eared Duck   6500
Hardhead    500
Hoary-headed Grebe  1000
Great Crested Grebe  1
Little Pied Cormorant
Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Australian Pelican   10
White-faced Heron  4
Great Egret   1
Glossy Ibis   4
Australian White Ibis  1
Straw-necked Ibis  20
Royal Spoonbill   4
Black-shouldered Kite  2
Whistling Kite   4
Swamp Harrier   10
Little Eagle   1
Brown Falcon   1
Nankeen Kestrel   1
Purple Swamphen   10
Eurasian Coot
Black-tailed Godwit  1
Red-necked Stint  250
Curlew Sandpiper  1
Pied Oystercatcher  10
Black-winged Stilt  10
Banded Stilt   110
Red-necked Avocet  300
Red-capped Plover  20
Double-banded Plover  30
Red-kneed Dotterel  1
Masked Lapwing   2
Pacific Gull
Silver Gull
Crested Tern
Fairy Tern
Superb Fairy-wren
White-browed Scrubwren
Striated Fieldwren
Brown Thornbill
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
White-fronted Chat
Willie Wagtail
Australian Magpie
Little Raven
Richard's Pipit
House Sparrow
European Goldfinch
Welcome Swallow
Little Grassbird
Golden-headed Cisticola
Common Starling

L A W R I E   C O N O L E
2/37 Myrnong Crescent, Ascot Vale, Victoria 3032 AUSTRALIA.
Phone AH (03) 9370 3928; BH (03) 9510 5750; Mobile (0419) 588 993.
E-mail: <>

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