Yesterday, (Monday 14th) on Birds Australia’s regular monthly census of
Seaford Swamp (about 35 km south east of Melbourne), Andrew Silcocks and I
found a single Pectoral Sandpiper amongst a flock of 460 Sharpies. Also
present was a Little Egret, possibly only the third record for this site.
Melbourne Water, who manage this site had been attempting to put in an
environmental flow into the wetlands using excess flood water from
Eumemmering Creek which flows down from the Dandenongs. There had been
problems with the mechanics of the drains meaning that by November no water
had made it into the wetlands and the best wader habitats were bone dry. But
it appears that the drains are now functioning as intended and with storms
in early December, there is a good deal of water about, hence the numbers of
migratory waders. My experience with Seaford over the years is that there is
only a small window of optimal conditions for waders so if anyone wants to
see these birds, they should move quickly.
The birds were all at the northern end of the eastern side of the wetland,
best accessed from Armstrongs Road, off Old Wells Road. It may involve a bit
of a slosh through some mud, so if there are any Pecs at Werribee, they may
be easier to access.
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