Williamstown owl and DB Plovers

Subject: Williamstown owl and DB Plovers
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 11:14:24 +1000
Went to check out Richard Nowotny's Powerful Owl on Saturday but 'dipped'
unfortunately.  Met Alan and Jan Flack who were also out looking for the
owl and we checked the immediate area, including side streets, to no avail.
Did get a nice view of a Little Falcon sitting in a eucalypt right across
from the cafe area, which made for some consolation.

On our way to Williamstown we went via Altona Beach.  Here we recorded
Australasian Gannets feeding just off shore, Little Egret, both spoonbill
species and what appeared to be a flock of possibly Fluttering Shearwater's
feeding with the Gannet's.  (Any thoughts on what else they could have been
is most welcome)

We then went to Point Cook and Cheetham wetlands to help a friend check out
his new Kowa spotting scope.  On the walk down to the 'Migration
tower/lookout' we flushed a group of about 20 Brown Quail and recorded
several Flame Robins (brown birds only).

Upon returning to our vehicle, we happened to meet the ranger who kindly
offered to take us into Cheetham and check for waders.  Highlight was at
least 160 Double-banded Plover roosting in a barren gypsum area of the old
saltworks.  A proportion of the were in almost full breding plumage.  Quite
a sight at close range.  A single Greenshank back at the tower and some
curlew-sandpiper's at Spectacle Lake were the only other birds of note.

If the owl returns let us know!

Martin O'Brien


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