A windy day at Werribee

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: A windy day at Werribee
From: "Dave Torr" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2006 08:33:14 +1100
The omens were not good for a day at the Western Treatment Plant with my
friend Christine and visiting Finn Timo - the winds were strong and forecast
to get worse. Most of the day our scopes stayed in the car and at times we
struggled to stand - checking the local weather station later showed that
the winds had been between 40 and 60 km/hr most of the day. With winds like
this I was not expecting to see too many small birds, and this proved to be
the case, although we had a good start with Dusky Woodswallows near the
Werribee River.

Usual selection of waders on the Conservation Ponds and Borrow Pits,
although the latter no longer seem to have any Red-kneed Dotterels. A fairly
young Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo was lurking in the bushes, being scolded by

85W9 now holds a lot of birds - scanning the large flock of Avocets for the
Red-necked Phalarope I was surprised to find two Banded Stilts - my first
ones for the year. And in the flock of hundreds of Whiskered Terns was a
solitary White-winged Black.

Walsh's Lagoon again disappointed us in our Phalarope search (although this
would have been a familiar bird to Timo) but had 11 Black-tailed Godwits and
the first Glossy Ibis of the day - we were to find more at Paradise Rd and
the T-Section. Paradise Rd was a our last chance for the Phalarope and again
no joy - I could not find it last week either - has anyone seen it recently?
A dozen or so Cape Barren Geese were wandering around, and Lake Borrie
yielded the final duck that we needed - a single Freckled.

On to the newly cleaned and bird-proofed hide - a big improvement over the
old condition, although the door closing mechanism seems to have broken and
some previous occupants had left the windows open - the birds will soon be
back at this rate. PLEASE try and keep them closed!

Kirk Pt showed 6 Pacific Golden Plovers and a fairly uncommon Caspian Tern,
but no sign in the strong wind of the Zebra Finches which seem to have taken
up residence. On then to Austin Rd where there were a dozen or so Native
Hens in the usual spot, with two Brolga behind them. The Spit yielded good
views of two Spotted Crakes and then time for home - 92 species in a day
when the conditions were so bad was we all felt a good result!

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