Tough day at the office

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Tough day at the office
From: jenny spry <>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2011 20:08:46 +1000
Hi all,

I spent today at the WTP, Werribee. The sun was out and the wind was just a
gentle breeze. I arrived just before 0830, as one should for work, and went
straight to the “T” section ponds where there were reports of crakes. The
Spotless eluded me but three Baillon’s spent about half an hour feeding
beside the car as I took photos and drank my first cup of tea for the day.

On the other “T” section ponds there were mixed flocks of Australian and
Hoary-headed Grebes with one group of 130 +/- birds. Spoonbills flocks
rested on the shore and Avocets were everywhere, again totaling many
hundreds of birds. Happily the Banded Stilts are still on the Paradise Rd
lagoon but there are not many and they were not easy to find.

The swans, who never stopped breeding last winter, have young and the cutest
little fluff-balls belonging to Red-capped Plover and Masked Lapwings are
skittering over the salt pans, taking no notice at all of their mum’s
worried chipping calls.

Maybe the most interesting sightings were the large numbers of crakes and
rails to be seen in most of the reedy/weedy shallows. The ponds near the
hide still have the Buff-banded, Aus Spotted and Spotless but the Lewin’s
stayed invisible, as they usually do for me. Along the coast road Aus
Spotted and Buff-banded were everywhere.

Curlew Sandpipers, Sharpies and Red-necked Stints are all back and many are
still showing some colour.

Best bird of the day prize has to be decided between the Baillon’s and the
Wood Sandpiper in the remains of its breeding plumage that was on the
Conservation Pond 35 E 8. I think the Baillon’s wins because I have never
seen three birds together before.

Downer of the day? Joining the commuters on the road home at 1630 – what a
drag, stop, start, stop, sigh. But it was well worth it after such a magic
day of birding.



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