Shoveler 'Show' at Werribee WTP

To: birding-aus threads <>
Subject: Shoveler 'Show' at Werribee WTP
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 12:25:46 +1030
Hi all,

I've just noticed on Vic Birdline that the Shoveler is still along Paradise 
I will be coming down to Melb for other reasons on Sat/Sund, but I intend to be 
in that area this coming Monday with a friend, however neither of us have 
access to gate keys (my friend with me isn't even a birder!!)...
I know where Paradise Rd crosses with Pt Wilson Rd...

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice for me??

My, how things have changed there since the 70's when I used to help survey the 
OBP's... so many rules & regs these days!!

Thanks in advance,

Martin Cachard
0428 782 808

> Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 14:02:42 +1000
> From: 
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Shoveler 'Show' at Werribee WTP
> Hi all,
> Yesterday was a glorious autumn day in Melbourne. The sun was out, there
> was very little wind and the temperature was low so heat haze was a minimal
> problem. In fact visibility was so good that from the Spit track with my 45
> X scope I could clearly see gannets landing on the platform at the end of
> the Point Wilson explosives jetty - and Google Earth tells me that is a
> distance of about 5.9 km!
> I didn't rush to the WTP because I wanted to see the Northern Shoveler so I
> waited and got there at about 1000. This technique usually works well with
> a rarity at WTP because you don't need to look for the bird. All you need
> to do is drive in and look for the congregation of cars. And Sunday's
> congregation was up there with the largest, and it was at the first pond on
> the right as you come down Paradise Rd. There were cars, scopes, camera and
> binoculars everywhere and, sitting on the water in the sun with the other
> shovelers was the Northern. It seems that it likes this spot because it has
> been there for a few days. One problem with it though is, if it turns its
> back on you it instantly turns into "just another Aus Shoveler" and
> binoculars and scopes scan over it as though it had Harry Potter's
> invisibility cloak on. To add excitement to the morning of watching the NS
> a Peregrine came in low and fast across the pond on a harassment run (not a
> hunting run) and scattered the Pink-ears in all directions.
> As it was getting toward lunch time when I left the NS I headed toward the
> Borrow Pits. This place is so well recognised by WTP regulars as "the"
> place to have lunch that I remember a discussion with some friends there
> one day who wanted to set up a concession stand selling coffee and
> sandwiches to passing birders (smile). Anyway, I pulled in and one of the
> lunch group called out "quick, over here, there is a Bittern" so I walked
> over, looked in the scope, and added Aus Bittern to my day list. Gorgeous.
> On the basis that all birds are special there were plenty of other special
> birds around and I spent the rest of the day watching, amongst others,
> Red-kneed Dotterels, Musk Ducks, Swans, Brolga, a Great Egret with the
> start of its breeding plumage coming in and a Cattle Egret with just a
> touch of colour on the top of its head. It was a special day with one of my
> lowest WTP species counts (71) because it was more fun watching the visible
> birds than looking for the difficult ones.
> I also had an interesting session with a Whistling Kite. I was heading
> toward the Beach Rd gate when I saw the kite and it had a long, red,
> unravelling "rope", about a metre long, hanging from its feet. "HA!" I
> thought, "an obvious case of a bird tangled up in man made rubbish -
> AGAIN!" With my "high horse" well up and running I took some photos and
> then thought "wait a minute, maybe it has just picked up this rope to add
> to its nest" and I climbed down off my "high horse" for a moment and zoomed
> in the photo on the back of the camera. It was then that I could see that
> the metre +/- of "red rope" was actually the long, red, fleshy strands of
> the entrails etc of a bird and that it ended in a pair of feet and legs
> that looked like they might have belonged to a Purple Swamp-hen. It was a
> bit of a gruesome sight but quite spectacular. The WTP is a wonderful place
> for birding, you never know what you will find.
> I will put up a blog tonight, including the kite photos, so please take
> this as a "slightly gruesome photo alert".
> cheers
> Jenny
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