Western Treatment Plant Rarities

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Western Treatment Plant Rarities
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 23:12:46 +1100
We spent about 4 hours at the WTP (Werribee) in the middle of the day today - very pleasant temp, around 24 degrees, but the wind was even stronger than usual and at times it was hard to use the scopes.

Highlight was Red-necked Phalarope on Walsh's Lagoon (actually on pond 7 I think - if you turn right after crossing Little River from Paradise Road, it's the second large pond on the left). It was easy to spot, swimming back and forth in front of the little sandbar full of Shelduck and BW Stilts. We had good views for as long as we stayed to watch it - but I really can't figure out how Peter Fuller managed to get those amazing photos a few days ago.

There were also four Black-tailed Godwit in the phalarope pond.

There were several hundred small waders on 35E pond 9 - we got very good views of about a third of them before conceding defeat to the wind. All the ones we checked out were Red-necked Stint, Sharp- tailed Sandpiper or Curlew Sandpiper, with a handful of Masked Lapwing. Couldn't manage to convince any Long-toed Stints, or Broad- billed or Pec Sandpipers to show themselves. Lots of stints were well out of the water on the large expanse of dried mud - this would have been the perfect place for one of the rarities to run out to meet us. None did.

No pratincole either - we looked in most of the suggested places, including 85C-9 and T Section lagoon where they were two years ago.

Dean Woodford & Russell Woodford

Species seen within WTP:

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
Eurasian Coot   Fulica atra     
Black-tailed Godwit     Limosa limosa   [4]
Common Greenshank       Tringa nebularia        [few]
Red-necked Stint        Calidris ruficollis     
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper  Calidris acuminata      
Curlew Sandpiper        Calidris ferruginea     
Red-necked or Northern Phalarope        Phalaropus lobatus      [1]
Black-winged Stilt      Himantopus himantopus   
Red-necked Avocet       Recurvirostra novaehollandiae   
Masked Lapwing  Vanellus miles  
Silver Gull     Larus novaehollandiae   
Whiskered Tern  Chlidonias hybridus     
Whistling Kite  Haliastur sphenurus     [4]
Swamp Harrier   Circus approximans      [1 only!]
Brown Falcon    Falco berigora  [2]
Hoary-headed Grebe      Poliocephalus poliocephalus     
Little Pied Cormorant   Phalacrocorax melanoleucos      
Pied Cormorant  Phalacrocorax varius    
Little Black Cormorant  Phalacrocorax sulcirostris      
Australian White Ibis   Threskiornis molucca    
Australian Pelican      Pelecanus conspicillatus        
Musk Duck       Biziura lobata  
Black Swan      Cygnus atratus  
Cape Barren Goose       Cereopsis novaehollandiae       [11]
Australian Shelduck     Tadorna tadornoides     
Pacific Black Duck      Anas superciliosa       
Grey Teal       Anas gracilis   
Chestnut Teal   Anas castanea   
Pink-eared Duck Malacorhynchus membranaceus     
Superb Fairywren        Malurus cyaneus 
White-fronted Chat      Epthianura albifrons    
Little Raven    Corvus mellori  
Australian Magpie       Gymnorhina tibicen      
Willie-wagtail  Rhipidura leucophrys    
Magpie-lark     Grallina cyanoleuca     
Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena 
Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis        
Skylark Alauda arvensis 
House Sparrow   Passer domesticus       
European Goldfinch      Carduelis carduelis     
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