Follow on from Part 1
WERRIBEE WATER TREATMENT PLANT
-18/8/02 (8:30 am to 5 pm)
This is my third visit to this
awesome part of Victoria and I
thank Paul Hackett and other friends Joy and Alex for allowing me to join them
for a fantastic day here. As I was waiting at our meeting place near the Pt
Wilson Rd turnoff from the Princess FWY, I managed a glimpse of 2 SWIFT PARROTS
flying overhead and heard another and some Purple-crowned Lorikeets in the
roadside trees beside the freeway.
Upon meeting Paul, Joy and Alex
we made first of all a well worth trip towards the
Airport to see 8 Banded Lapwings in
the paddocks on the southern side of the road.
While driving on the beach road,
we encountered our first group of Blue-winged Parrots perched on roadside trees
(we obtained great views through the scope of 12 of them) and saw also 9
Australian Shelducks flying overhead about half way along the road. After
reaching the end of the beach road and turning south parallel to the Bay, we got
great views of another 8 Blue-winged Parrots feeding in the salt marsh (atleast
2 very well marked adult males) and saw a Striated Fieldwren taking pride in its
singing on top of a small bush.
In and around Lake Borrie, the
regular spectacle of around 50,000 Pink-eared Ducks was on show and good numbers
of the other ducks including about 30 Blue-billed Ducks, 400 plus Hardheads, no
less than 700 Australasian Shoveler, 200 plus Musk Ducks, thousands of Grey
Teal, and also well over 1000 Hoary-headed Grebes. In the small wetland beside
Paradise Rd were 4 Glossy Ibis, 7 Australasian Shelducks (very well short of the
numbers seen in previous occasions for this species), 80 Banded Stilts (many
with beautiful chestnut bands and one orange flagged on its left leg facing
front on), 140 plus Red-necked Avocet, some Pied Stilts, 20 plus Red-capped
Plover and 20 Red-necked Stints. We also had excellent views of 2 Australian
Crakes in small pond bordered by salt marsh beside
In and around the conservation
ponds were another 5 Red-necked Stints, 60 Curlew Sandpipers (one banded with an
orange flag on left leg faced front on and a few showing traces of breeding
plumage), 20 Red-kneed Dotterel, about another 20 Red-necked Avocets and 6
Black-tailed Native Hens (another 2 were also present further back beside the
On the mouth of the Little River
were an impressive 500 Red-necked Stints (one orange flagged in much the same
way as the other 2 birds above), 200 Curlew Sandpipers, 5 Pied Oystercatchers,
100 Red-necked Avocets and 2 Banded Stilts, an Australian Crake, 150-200
Australasian Gannets fishing out in the bay, a Pacific Gull and a WHITE-WINGED
BLACK TERN (in non-breeding plumage).
Along the Pt Wilson spit area
(where I would love to have caught up again with the Orange-bellied Parrots but
to no avail) we found another 10 Blue-winged Parrots (including 2 juv. birds
moving on the ground in front of the car). We also found another 3Australian
Crakes, a Yellow-billed Spoonbill, another Pacific Gull, more Striated
Fieldwrens, 2 Greenshanks and 3 small terns, either Fairy of Little Terns (too
far out for me to identify).
Just outside the treatment plant
an in the gounds of the Murtcaim Wildlife Area Sanctuary (Austin Roads Wetlands)
we saw our final 4 out of about 40 Blue-winged Parrots for the day.
The total number of raptors (as
often is the case) see in and around the Werribee Western Treatment Plant was
impressive and we saw no less than 9 Whistling Kites, 12 Swamp Harriers, 13
Brown Falcon (a few banded), 6 Black-shouldered Kites, atleast one Kestrel and
an Australian Hobby perched outside close to our initial meeting place near the
Overall, I had a wonderful
weekend birding down in Melbourne
and was great to meet in person more of our fellow birding-aus subscribers.
Looking forward to next time in
the Melbourne area.