Diamond Dove, Common Sandpiper and other interesting birds at ETP, Melbo

Subject: Diamond Dove, Common Sandpiper and other interesting birds at ETP, Melbourne, on 24 May
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 12:13:11 +1000
A DIAMOND DOVE was seen and photographed during the monthly Birds Australia survey at the Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP) near Carrum SE of Melbourne on Sunday 24 May. This is the first record for the area of a species rare at any time in Victoria especially in the south. Normally such occurrences would be considered likely escapees from aviaries but this bird was very wary and although pursued for an hour we got no closer than 40 m. Moreover it fits a pattern of recent reports. Birdline Victoria lists sightings from Chiltern and Lilydale in April, at Westgate Park, Melbourne 11-14 May, and three currently still at Werribee Zoo have been there since shortly before 19 May. They too are behaving as wild birds (Maarten Hulzebosch pers comm.) Another surprise was a very fat apparently sub-adult COMMON SANDPIPER. This is an extremely late date. Danny Rogers considers that virtually the entire Australian population returns to the northern hemisphere in the boreal spring. Winter records in the Australian Atlas, taken as being within the period 15 June - 15 August, are really early returning migrants.

In all 72 species were seen including 9 raptors and 32 wetland dependant species. Other highlights included a Stubble Quail, another unusually late date, an adult White-bellied Sea-Eagle, and a Little Eagle, both have been present for a while, 1,400 Chestnut Teal, 72 White-fronted Chats, 200 Magpie-larks, 13 Flame Robins, 75 Golden-headed Cisticolas and 16 Eurasian Tree Sparrows.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136


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