Western Treatment Plant Report.

To: "Shirley Cameron" <>, "BIRDING-AUS" <>
Subject: Western Treatment Plant Report.
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 11:11:52 -0000
Shirley Cameron mentioned she 'met a fellow who had seen a Northern Pintail on Lake Borrie'.
I checked with Bob Swindley who is currently in the process of counting all the waterfowl at the Werribee Sewage Farm, -- individually, well almost. It takes him four days. It will be completed today with counts of Black Duck and the two Teal! 
He has not seen a Northern Pintail but reports a hybrid or farm-yard type duck superficially similar to that species on Lake Borrie. Furthermore, it is said to be confiding.
His count of Blue-billed Ducks was 11,500! We had over 500 at the Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP) on Sunday. A recent estimate suggested the world population was only 12,000! I realise that as a result of the drought they are more concentrated, but as none would be from WA and I know there are others elsewhere in the eastern states, that number should be revised. They're not all on Melbourne Water's Sewage Farms!
Bob also reports over 500 Freckled Duck, whereas we, the poor relatives on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay, were pleased with the 9 we had at Edithvale North on Saturday.
Bobs task was somewhat eased by the recent rain as this prompted some ducks to depart. For instance, Pink-eared Ducks were down from their summer peak of 45,000!
Yes, the WTP is an impressive place, but at the moment, there are no Northern Pintails there.
Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza    VIC     3930
Ph:  (03) 9787 7136
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