Apart from the successful 'eastern campaign' I have
also managed four ticks back in my old stamping
The first followed another welcome tip from Joy
Tansey, suggesting that Newell's Paddock (near
Flemington racecourse) might be worth another visit
for Latham's Snipe. Joy had seen them there early in
the New Year. After searching for about half an hour I
was ready to give up and cycle on home. I decided on
one last sweep with the binocs and Bingo! There was
one standing on the bank of the small island just
outside the reed line. It stood so still, for so long,
that I was beginning to think that Joy had planted a
stuffed one there just so I could tick it off my list!
Next came an Australian Hobby, in the neighbouring
school, just as I was leaving home one morning. It
came in like a terrain hugging jet fighter following
the roof-line before dropping into the play ground,
surprising a small group of local ferals (birds that
is). Its accuracy didn't match its strategy so they
all lived to see another day. I was lucky to see it as
the resident White-plumed Honeyeaters didn't give
their usual alarm call.
I was beginning to think that the New Holland
Honeyeater was going to become my bogie bird when they
finally reappeared at the old Royal Park Hospital
site, near the NMIT Horticultural School. I had also
missed them at another stronghold, Westgate Park (near
the Westgate Bridge).
However Westgate Park provide my latest tick, a bonus
bird at that. Richard Nowotny kindly alerted me to the
presence of some Common Greenshank there, though I
dipped on them twice before finally sighting one the
other day. There were still some excellent views of
the Royal Spoonbills to be had.
The ponds at Westgate Park and Newell's Paddock are
drying out fast I sure hope we get some decent rains
Several respondents to my first two Puny Twitch
reports suggested I might have underestimated my
target of 80 species in twelve months. Now only six
weeks in and the tally on 82 I'm in no position to
argue! A couple even suggested that the total could be
closer to 100. With all bar a couple of certainties to
go, ticks will depend a bit on luck from here.
Next target is the 'butter-bums' (hope that makes it
through Russell's filter), Yellow-rumped Thornbills
that is, at Melbourne General Cemetery, though I'll
have to finish work early to get there before it
closes. I'll have to remember not to get too engrossed
as I nearly got locked in on my last visit! I'll let
you know if I have any luck.
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