2nd sighting of Painted Snipe @ Banyule Flats, Melb.

To: Hopkins-Brown <>
Subject: 2nd sighting of Painted Snipe @ Banyule Flats, Melb.
From: Celia & Russell Browne <>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 12:52:48 +1000
Have just returned from my 3rd visit this week to the *grubby pool*  at
Banyule Flats Reserve, Heidelberg.  Arrived about 10:15 AM, started
observing from the fence line on the East side of the pool. With Alan
saw Buff-banded Rail very well on the northern edge of the pool.  Also
present Purple Swamphen, Dusky Moorhen, a pair of Pacific Black duck.

Alan left, & I went around to the Northern (Banyule Road) end, & sat
back to the sun, propped against a tree.  Watched 1 Latham's Snipe come
out on the left at the far end, probe around in the mud, then wander
along left to right.  It sat in the sun, preened, probed lots more. 
Great viewing for 5-6 minutes.

Saw a scufflement in the water on the right, amongst old tennis balls &
discarded plastic bottles.  Thought it might be a water rat, or perhaps
a snake.  Clearly saw the head & nostrils as it swam from right to left
across the pool, closely followed by the 2 very curious Black ducks. 
The body was shortish & the tail moving quickly side to side.  Not a
snake, but a Blue-tongued lizard.  First time I've seen one swimming. 
The lizard & the ducks disappeared under the bank I was sitting on.

Then - a movement on the far left muddy bank, near a discarded light
green plastic bag.  Bins up!  Couldn't believe my eyes.  This was what
I'd come for!!  There it was - a Painted Snipe, a male, no doubt.  Had
Pizzey with me.  Wow - a huge tick.

Watched the Painted Snipe for more than 15 minutes.  It walked slowly,
probed a bit, then just sat in the sun.  The "horse collar" was SO vivid
& the white belly.  Saw the cream line down the top of the head while it
was preening.  Even without bins, the white horse collar was visible -
if you knew where to look on the mud & among the short grass it was
sitting on.  It was still there, sitting when I had to leave just after
11 AM.

Hope others get to see it & thanks to Gina for finding it on Sunday. 
Cheers,   Celia

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