birding-aus RFI: waders on the eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: birding-aus RFI: waders on the eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 22:14:09 +1100
This is about a Melbourne issue which is important to me.

I've just come from a Council meeting with 200? "dog lovers"
opposing greater restrictions on dogs at Ricketts Point,
Beaumaris. One problem seems to be the lack of dialogue about
why dogs should be controlled.

A focal issue (at present) is the impact of uncontrolled dogs on
our visiting waders. 14 wader species have been recorded there
in the 1990s and over the last 3 weeks I've been there, mainly
at dawn, to see what's around.  There were waders on average on
3 days a week: Turnstones (max 7), Red-necked Stints (max 11),
Grey and Red-capped Plovers.  This morning, not far away, there
was a Common Sandpiper and two other unidentified waders
(probably sandpipers). I suspect the perception that waders are
"occasional" here is due to not searching for them amongst the
subtle variations in the height of the terrain..

"Birds of Port Phillip Bay" (Ministry for Planning and
Environment, 1985?) suggests Ricketts Point is the best coastal
wader site between "Fishermen's Bend" (now Westgate Park??) and
the Point Nepean National Park,  Mud Island excepted.

To my RFI: is that still correct ? Are there other coastal sites
on the east of Port Phillip Bay with more waders (particularly
long-distance migrants) ?   I know Edithvale and other places in
the degraded Carrum-Carrum swamps have  impressive lists
(including Curlew and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers - never recorded
at Ricketts Point).  But these are basically inland wetlands.

All info. and comments welcome.  Including any hypotheses
relating to the idea that this November might have been

Michael Norris
Bayside Friends of Native Wildlife.

PS. Over the last week or so Little, Purple-crowned and Musk
Lorikeets have appeared in this area of SE Melbourne.

PPS.  I haven't forgotten about my posting on mammals and my
commitment to summarise responses.

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