Belmont Common: Spotless Crake & Friends

Subject: Belmont Common: Spotless Crake & Friends
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 23:15:17 +1200
Hi everyone

I had a very quick look at Belmont Common (Geelong, Vic) today on the way home 
from work, mainly hoping to see the Spotless Crake.  I've seen them here a few 
years ago but it's a rather nice species to get on the yearlist in January.  
The bird impressed me greatly by appearing briefly on the mud in front of the 
hide about a minute after I had arrived!  

Other obliging birds inlcluded a Latham's Snipe over on the right hand side, 
just under the roadway, quite oblivious to everything about it, and a 
Black-fronted Dotterel that flew a few laps of the area in front of the hide 
before landing right in front.  A Purple Swamphen tried to chase it off with 
some energetic wing-flapping, but the dotterel kept returning.  Why would a big 
fat swamphen worry about something as small (relatively) as a dotterel???

I was only in the hide for 5 or 6 minutes today but I recorded almost as many 
species as I have on any 20-minute atlas session here.  The most unusual thing 
was the number of passerines in front of the hide: Red-browed Finches, 
White-fronted Chats, Superb Fairy-Wrens and at least 5 or 6 Wagtails (sadly, 
just Willies).  I didn't notice an unusual number of insects - perhaps they'd 
all just been eaten.

Sorry this is about common birds and probably only of interest to Geelong 
locals, but I love the way a well-known spot can throw up surprises.  This spot 
is always worth stopping at.


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