Mixed day at Western Treatment Plant, Werribee

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Mixed day at Western Treatment Plant, Werribee
From: "Dave Torr" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 16:50:39 +1000
Today found me taking Mike - a visiting birder from the US - around the WTP.
He had been with me once before in Nov 2004 on a terrible day when I
achieved my record low "score" for the plant of 58 species! Armed with a
list of "highly desired" species we set off on a fairly windy day. The
morning was most disappointing - nothing was where it usually was and
certainly no OBPs at the Borrow Pits. We did get the Phalarope on 85W and
also a solitary Godwit in the same pond, but neither of these were new for
Mike. Paradise Rd yielded very little, Walsh's Lagoon was empty and hardly
any ducks anywhere. The usually reliable Spotted Crakes by the Hide (a
species Mike needed) were missing and I started to feel that my all time low
was under threat. The Native Hens were in their usual spot, but the Brolgas
(another species Mike needed) were missing. FInally we got to the Spit and
in the small corner pond a Lewin's Rail (life bird for Mike) briefly
appeared followed immediately by good views of a Spotted Crake (another
lifer). Further along the Spit a Lewin's Rail gave us much better views. No
OBPs to be seen here either.

Then a quick diversion down Beach Rd to find 13 Banded Lapwings (another
lifer) - thanks to a hint from another birder earlier in the day.

I suggested we come home via another last look for OBPs at the Borrow Pits.
This time Paradise Rd yielded 5 Glossy Ibis, and - whilst there were still
no OBPs at the Borrow Pits - we did get Mike's 4th life bird for the day -
an Aussie Bittern. Somewhat more cheerful now we headed for home up Farm Rd
and added 3 other good birds - White-necked Heron, Grey Goshawk (my first at
the WTP) and a Black Kite (haven't seen one for a while there).

All in all not a bad day after a VERY slow start.

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