Oriental Pratincoles

Subject: Oriental Pratincoles
From: (Russell Woodford)
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 15:23:13 +1000
A number of observers saw the two Oriental Pratincoles at the Austin Rd lagoons 
this morning.  They were observed from about 9 am until at least noon.  The 
were occasionally being harrassed by welcome Swallows, and this provided the 
best opportunity to see the practincoles, as their plumage and the weed the 
were sitting in were the same mix of colours!  At one point the swallows 
attacked in numbers, and the practincoles flew off across Pt Wilson Rd (or 
whatever it's called here) but they returned after about half an hour.

To find the birds, go to the last "permit accessible" gate on the west side of 
Pt Wilson Rd.  I think the track is called Austin Rd on the map, and goes 
between a large lagoon on the right and several medium sized lagoons on the 
left.  The pratincoles have been seen in the first left side lagoon, a little 
less than half way along - usually just in the "weed" (sorry, don't know the 
real names of the plants here), near where the weed runs out .  There's a small 
channel on the far side of the biggest expanse of weed, and the birds were 
usually on either side of this narrow channel.  Good luck finding them  - they 
are almost invisible unless they move.  A scope is very handy but not essential 
(if you can find them!) as they are not too far from the track.  What 
magnificent birds, rare here or not.

Thanks to Michael, Giles, Margaret and others for the info that helped in 
finding these birds.



Russell Woodford
Music & Information Technology
Sacred Heart College Geelong
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