Yesterday (March 12), after participating in a canoe paddle across Lake
Connewarre as part of the Barwon Heads Festival of the Sea, I dropped into
Hospital Swamps where I saw amongst many waders, a single Terek Sandpiper.
This is not a common bird for Victoria and is the first I have seen in the
state for about twenty years. Hospital Swamp is, I believe, mainly
freshwater so this was an unusual location, and being several kilometres
inland is the first time I have ever seen a Terek away from the coast.
It was with a flock of about 600 Red-necked Stints and 150 Curlew Sandpiper,
though a Black Falcon that swooped in on the waders scared off two
similar-sized flocks that seemed to land a bit further west, where I believe
there are more wetlands (hence the name Hospital Swamps I guess).
About half an hour earlier, whilst still on Lake Connewarre, which is tidal
and quite brackish, we saw flocks of small waders heading in the general
direction of Hospital Swamps. This occurred around high tide so I suspect
that the Terek may have been amongst them and feeding down towards the mouth
of the Barwon. For anyone wanting to look for the bird I would suggest going
around high tide. The site is at the end of Hospital Swamp Road.
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