RFI Cargil Saltworks Port Hedland

To: richard baxter <>,
Subject: RFI Cargil Saltworks Port Hedland
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 09:42:25 +0800

Cargill Saltworks has very recently been purchased by Dampier Salt.  In 
the past it was certainly possible to survey the saltworks.  You contacted 
them ahead of time, and if it wasn't inconvenient (e.g. roadworks, 
modifications, etc) they would usually give you a mud map and a key.  I 
always recommended that you complete a wader count of ponds 0 and 1 for 
the AWSG and give a copy to Cargill.

The saltworks are about 1 hour out of town.  They were a good place for 
waders (Asian Dowitcher 100+, Broad-billed Sandpiper 1000+, Lesser Sand 
Plover, Banded Stilt 1000s, Red-necked Avocet, Orange Chat, Painted Finch, 
Spotted Harrier, Letter winged Kite a chance, Brolga, etc).  The best time 
to visit is after low tide.  A lot of the waders fly out to the mudflats 
to feed and return to the saltworks as the tide returns.  They can only 
pump water into pond 0 when the tide returns, so that period just before 
this is the best time to observe the waders.

Dampier Salt is a part of Rio Tinto (about 70% owned).  Rio Tinto has very 
high safety procedures which requires everyone to be inducted before 
access.  So access may be harder from now on.

However I recommend that you contact them (use web pages 
to find their phone number) well ahead of time, and state the date and 
purpose of your visit.

If you cannot get access, then you can still see most of the wader species 
at a tidal creek.  From South Hedland head towards Port Hedland.  After 
the railway line there is a dirt track on the right.  Follow it to the 
end.  You should find Asian Dowitcher, Broad-billed Sandpiper and the more 
common waders plus the mangrove species.  Beware of the sand flies!!

The sewage ponds are also worth visiting.  As you get closer to Port 
Hedland you will see a large sports oval on the right.  The sewage ponds 
are just east of the oval surrounded by casuarinas.  This is a good place 
for Barn Swallow and some of the fresh water waders, etc.

All the best
Frank O'Connor
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