Werribee Treatment Plant

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Subject: Werribee Treatment Plant
From: "Jacqui" <>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 21:33:16 +1000
A most invigorating cold wind kept us all alert today during the Orange Bellied Parrot survey at Werribee Treatment Plant (1/2 hr west of Melbourne on Port Phillip Bay) today.
However, although we weren't successful in finding OBP's we were highly surprised to open the hide door and be confronted by an equally surprised Barn Owl, hovering in the centre and then promptly  exiting through the only open scope hole, leaving only its whitewash on the bench as a reminder of its presence. Certainly a close encounter. Unfortunately just down the track we also found a reasonably fresh dead Barn Owl which had been ripped open from its back, presumably for its organs. Can anyone suggest what may have attacked it, as a Barking Owl is the only other large owl and it's not that much bigger?
   Another highlight for us today was to be confronted by a very long-necked Stubble Quail on a grass track near the T section, staring at us for a prolonged time before hurriedly disappearing into a grass clump. With the sun out at this time we could clearly see the orange on it's face/neck area and its striking  striped all-over patterning. We almost wondered if it could be a Plain's Wanderer, but after perusing Pizzey, Simpson and Day, we then found Slater showed one in a pose with the stalky neck effect. Of course the orange was in the wrong place for a PW, but it certainly looked closely related, and size is the same!
Jacqui  & Rob Sheppard, Paul Hackett, Joy Knight

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