Waders on Reef Island, Westernport (Vic)

To: Tim Dolby <>,
Subject: Waders on Reef Island, Westernport (Vic)
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 12:47:51 +1100
Dear Tim -
I think you were a bit lucky with your visit to Reef Island, and I'm not talking about your birdlist. There have been several drownings of people who tried to return through a rising tide at Reef Island. Certainly i remember that one was reported quite recently - within last 5 or 10 years, say. One should always check tide tables before a visit.
 Anthea Fleming

Tim Dolby wrote:

Hi all,
I've just spent the day on Reef Island, a small nature reserve on the eastern 
side of Westernport Bay (in Victoria). The island, a well known high tide roost 
site for migratory waders, was teeming with interesting birds. What a great 

On the southern side of the island there was a small flock of Grey-tailed Tattler roosting amongst mangroves, and on several rocky spits and sand beaches on the north-west corner of the island were mixed flocks of hundreds of waders. These included Greater and Lesser Sand Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Greenshank, Eastern Curlew, Curlew Sandpiper, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and Red-necked Stint.
In all I recorded 31 species on the island, including Fairy Tern (may have been 
nesting), Caspian Tern, Great Egret, White-face Heron, Royal Spoonbill, Sacred 
Ibis, Australian Pelican Gannet, Black Swan, Grey Teal, Pied Oystercatcher, 
Masked Lapwing, Red-capped Plover, Pied and Little Pied Cormorant, Great 
Cormorant, Silver Gull, Pacific Gull, Pipit, White-fronted Chat, Goldfinch and 
Singing Honeyeater. (Also of interest was a Dollarbird at nearby Yallock Creek).

A word of warning though, the island is cut off from the mainland during high 
tide! When I arrived the water level was quite low, so I just walked out onto 
the island. However, when I tried to return, I had wade back through chest 
height water that was rising fast!


Tim Dolby

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