Werribee and You Yangs

To: Paul Rose <>
Subject: Werribee and You Yangs
From: Merrilyn Serong <>
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 23:33:16 +1000
Hi Paul and Aaron and others
On Saturday 24 August, three of us participated in the Birds Australia VicGroup birding and boneseeding day.  We had a wonderful day with fantastic weather, recorded 50 plus bird species and a few mammals and pulled out numerous boneseed plants.  We saw just one Diamond Firetail.  We were having lunch and it flew in and perched not far from our picnic table and gave us a good view before it took off again.  I haven't seen any in that particular place before, so that was a nice surprise.  We do see them regularly in the You Yangs, but in small numbers and certainly not on every visit. We kept our eyes and ears open for Zebra Finches, but alas no luck.

Paul Rose wrote:

 Good Morning Birdos, Did the rounds at Werribee this past Sunday, with a brief follow up trip to the western boundary of You Yangs NP, as follow up to Aaron's earlier sightings of Diamond Firetails and Zebra Finches.  I have observed small flocks of Diamond Firetails in the You yangs park from time to time over the past few years, never more than 5 in any one group.   With Aaron's sightings and my own, his mention of past records in the Atlas seem to sell the number of this species in this area short.  Perhaps sightings need to be documented more carefully and religiously. Anyway, a fantastically cold morning's stroll to the tip of the sandspit at Werribee before sunrise saw me standing in the centre (well not probably geographically) of this wonderful mecca for birds.  Very few shorebirds actually on the tip, just the usual Oycs, Red-caps, and Pied Stilts.As the sun broke above the horizon, 34 Red-necked Avocets flew down to the shoreline on a receding tide.Wonderful morning colour highlighted their gracefulness. I spent an hour at the tip before strolling back along the beachfront.  Four Neophema sp.  flew in low and landed on the fenceline before feeding on the tips of the vegetation hanging toward the fence.  I imagine they didn't like the idea of dropping down onto the frost covered ground, preferring much drier conditions and easy pickings off the fence line.  In the morning light, full id was difficult but I managed to identify at least one Orange-bellied amongst the small group.  As with Aaron's finches, these birds did not seem phased by my presence, arriving and landing close to me. While I didn't visit the Austin Rd. lagoons, I managed to see a good number of species in the remaining areas of the Treatment Plant.  Together with a good stint working the edge of the You Yangs western boundary along Sandy Creek Road, I managed to tally 97 species by 12:30pm.Nothing unusual to report on this occasion and unfortunately, no finches.  With more time spent actually in the park and some of the more common species missed on the day, it shows you what an amazing area this is, providing 100+ species without breaking a sweat !  Cheers, P.  Paul Rose
Year 9 Purple Team
Department of Biology and Chemistry
Wesley College - Glen Waverley
620 High Street Road
Glen Waverley  3150
(03) 9881 5426
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