Fwd: Shoveler a 'No-Show' at Werribee

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Fwd: Shoveler a 'No-Show' at Werribee
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 00:10:16 +1000
I sent the email below to the list in haste early Sunday morning, but it never 
arrived. As a newly moderated moderator, I think I must have discarded it 
instead of approving it! So here it is again.

It's worth noting that despite the presence of lots of cars and people again on 
Sunday, it seems to have settled in in the NE corner of the pond near gate 6 on 
Paradise Rd, and was still there when I came past about 1pm.

Peter Shute

Sent from my iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: Peter Shute <<>>
Date: 19 May 2013 5:39:32 AM AEST
To: Scott Ryan <<>>
Cc: Birding-Aus Aus 
Subject: Shoveler a 'No-Show' at Werribee

Given the number of birders intending to come a long way to see this bird over 
the next week or so, I'm wondering what people think of the following idea: 
that attempts to approach closely to get photos should be discouraged. I don't 
want to start an anti photographer thread, just to make people aware of what's 
at stake for others who haven't seen it yet.

Yesterday (Sat) it was fairly predictable once it had been located. It was 
tending to stay in the upwind corner of Borrie and the pond west of it. At one 
point two photographers asked if anyone minded it they tried to get closer, and 
no one did as we'd all had a good look.

We were probably 200m from where it was sitting on the bank at the time. They 
barely got 10m when the whole flock flew back into the water. We thought at the 
time that it was something else that frightened them, and it probably was, but 
it highlights the potential for this bird to become hard to find, even if it 
only moves a kilometre. There are many inaccessible ponds at WTP.

Last week, the bird was in Walsh's Lagoon, this week in Borrie. My OBP survey 
team counted 80 Aus Shovellers in T Section No. 7 pond, so that's a suitable 
spot for it too. It's a very frustrating exercise negotiating all the locked 
gates between these places, especially if you're by yourself. It would be great 
if it could be great if one could rely on the Birdline location from the day 
before to find the bird, rather than hunt around all of WTP.

On the other hand, perhaps ducks just move anyway. Any thoughts?

My Birdline photo from yesterday is from 200m with an ancient manual focus 
400mm lens, a small (4/3) sensor camera and low skill levels. Recognisable, but 
that's all. I'm sure those with sharper lenses and newer, bigger sensors and 
some skill could do a lot better, but still not the quality photography 
enthusiasts strive for. But do we really need a super sharp photo of this bird? 
It looks pretty much like the pictures in the guides, and there are a million 
good photos of the species from the northern hemisphere.

Peter Shute

P.S you can probably guess why an OBP team was counting ducks instead of OBPs.

Sent from my iPad

On 18/05/2013, at 5:40 PM, "Scott Ryan" 
<<>> wrote:

Great news Peter.
Myself & another Canberra birder are planning on driving down Sunday night if 
it was still around.
Are there any birding-aussers who would be interested in meeting us out there 
on Mon or Tues morning for a twitch?

Sent from my iPhone

On 18/05/2013, at 5:24 PM, Peter Shute 
<<>> wrote:

It's still around, I found it easily at about 1pm today - I just drove to where 
all the cars were parked and got someone to point it out. I had driven past 
this spot 30 minutes before, and missed it. It's easy to see if it's facing 
you, not so easy if it's facing away or distant.

It was at the north east corner of Lake Borrie, and I think it had been there 
an hour or so before I got there. Soon after that, it flew to the north east 
corner of the pond to the west of Lake Borrie. This is the pond that's 
separated from Lake Borrie by a narrow causeway you can drive on.

Then it seemed to just drift with the wind almost to the east side of that 
pond, where it encountered 3 or 4 male Australasian Shovelers swimming south 
west. It swam hard to catch up with them, gave up, caught up again, then they 
all swam back to the north east corner. There it got out on the bank for a 
while till all the ducks there flew back into the water. I left at about 2.30 
after having watched it for about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Thanks to whoever found it first today, I think it was Steve Davidson, and to 
those who pointed it out to me later. Sorry you missed it, John, it's the luck 
of the draw when a bird could be at any of dozens of ponds. I tried a couple of 
times when there was one here in 2011, and never found it. Hopefully this one 
will stick around longer than that one did.

Peter Shute

 On Behalf Of John Tongue <>]
Sent: Saturday, 18 May 2013 10:50 AM
To: Birding-Aus Aus
Subject: Shoveler a 'No-Show' at Werribee

Sadly, despite a day of concerted searching around Walsh's Lagoon, from there 
to the Borrow Pits, and around Lake Borrie, the Northern Shoveler was not to be 
seen.  A quick check around T-Section late in the afternoon also failed to turn 
up the Aus Bittern seen recently.

Not the most successful in terms of targets, but sill, a very pleasant day.

John Tongue
Ulverstone, Tas.


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