Mouth of Powlett revisited

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Mouth of Powlett revisited
From: "Elizabeth Shaw" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 00:12:42 +1000
I dropped into the Mouth of the Powlett River again this afternoon on the way home from Wonthaggi to see if the Bittern I saw there last week was still there.  There had been more rain, therefore the water level over the paddocks had risen further.  I also presume the river still hadn't broken through to the sea yet (which is why the water is backing up).
There was no sign of the Bittern, unfortunately, but there were a pair of Grey Butcherbirds fishing the shallows from the fence posts sticking out of the water.  They were accompanied by a pair of Noisy Miners.  I couldn't work out whether the the Miners were teasing the Butcherbirds or trying to shoo them away.  Sometimes the Miners were chasing the Butcherbirds, sometimes vice versa.  Is this typical behaviour for either of thees species?  I saw Miner eating a worm it had fished out of the water.
There were numerous wetland species in the water over the paddocks including Swans, Grey and Chestnut Teal, a single Great Egret among the flooded saltmarsh, a few Little Black Cormorants on fenceposts surrounded by floodwater, and the sodden paddocks hummocks made into islets by the floodwaters hosted Masked Lapwings, Magpie Larks, Common Mynahs and Starlings in large flocks.  I disturbed a pair of Pipits from the side of the road as I pulled to the side at one stage and heard some very musical tones from the bushes but failed to find the culprits.  It might have been Cisticolas, as I have seen them in the area before.
Elizabeth Shaw
Surefoot Explorations
Phillip Island
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