Western Treatment Plant

To: "Shirley Cameron" <>, "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Western Treatment Plant
From: "J & C Krohn" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002 20:02:01 +1000
Wasn't it a beautiful morning down there?  Sorry we didn't intersect, but we also got lots of good sightings, our highlight being the 20+ Freckled Ducks just north of Beach Road, south of Lake Borrie, where you, Margaret Cameron, Neville Pamment, Paul Hackett and Joy Tansey all described (any many thanks to all of you for your advice).  We got to the Spit gate at about 7:30 and left Paradise Rd to head home just on noon, having had superb viewing conditions with hardly a breath of wind, but enough cloud around to keep the galre problem to a minimum.  Other highlights included two Cape Barren Geese at Paradise Road, couple of Yellow-billed Spoonbills in the lower reaches of Little River, five or six Fairy Terns on a tidal sandbar off Little River mouth, two Horsfield Bronze-cuckoos, and, at the Little River mouth hide, White-browed Scrub-wrens climbing up behind the car grille (presumably) to feed on cooked insects off the front of the radiator.  Lots of Red-necked Stints at Little River mouth, plus Curlew-Sandpipers (almost all in non-breeding plumage, so likely immature birds?), plus a small group of what I think must have been Knots - similar size to the Curlew-Sandpipers, although further away, a bit darker, stockier and with shorter, more solid, almost straight bills.  Lots of Banded Stilts around, too, mostly in adult plumage, although a few unbanded birds too.  Also heaps of Swamp Harriers and Whistling Kites, but the only other raptors were a few Black-shouldered Kites.  59 species for the morning.
Shirley, regarding your ID query, if not a Little Grassbird (which does have fine streaks underneath, although I've sometimes found them less than conspicuous), what about an over-wintering female Brown Songlark?  Perhaps too big?
    Jack Krohn
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