Mount St Josephs Pond

To: "'Peter Shute'" <>, "'Chris Sanderson'" <>
Subject: Mount St Josephs Pond
From: "Tony Russell" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 16:33:39 +1030
Thank you thank you. Must have missed the earlier mail. T

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Shute  
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 12:06 PM
To: Tony Russell; Chris Sanderson
Cc: Birding-Aus Aus
Subject: Mount St Josephs Pond

It's in Altona, Melbourne.  Sorry, I was including that info early on
but it sort of got dropped after a while, very parochial of me.  Full
details, as posted a few days ago:

The pond is at the north end of Truganina swamp, on the other side of
railway line at Melway ref 54 C10. It's right behind the school. The
platform is on the south side of the pond, next to the railway line.

Park either in the Westona station car park and follow the railway line
or at the very end of Civic Pde and walk anticlockwise around the pond
to the 
viewing platform. It's a few hundred metres walk either way.

The crakes, etc, are mostly at the edges of the reeds on the opposite
side, but 
it's worth looking all around.

There's another viewing platform on the north side, but it's very
overgrown and 
you can't see far.

The pond is named after the girl's school adjacent to it.  There is no
mountain there, which may have confused some people.

It catches local storm water and holds it before it flows into Truganina
Swamp.  It's only about 50m by 20m, but has some largish areas of dense
reeds and some muddy banks, and some good birds have been showing

I first spotted Baillon's Crakes there late last year, but heavy rain
before Christmas filled it up and I wasn't seeing much.  Recent hot
weather lowered it to the point where it was mostly mud, and suddenly I
was getting good views of Baillon's, Spotted and Spotless Crakes and now
Lewin's Rail has been seen at least twice.

A few months ago I heard what I assume to be an Australasian Bittern in
the reeds, although I've never seen or heard one before so there's a
good chance I'm wrong.  That's when I began checking the pond
obsessively, although I never heard it again.

It filled up a bit again last Saturday night, and they're much harder to
see but still obviously in there.

Peter Shute

Tony Russell wrote on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 11:34 AM:
> Anyone know where this St Josephs Pond is ?
> -----Original Message-----
> From:  
>  On Behalf Of Peter Shute
> Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 8:57 AM
> To: Chris Sanderson
> Cc: Birding-Aus Aus
> Subject: RE: [Birding-Aus] Mount St Josephs Pond
> Chris Sanderson wrote on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 1:38 PM:
>> The Baillon's Crake was directly across from the platform on the open

>> ground at the edge of the water.  The Spotless Crake was more 
>> difficult, being at the far eastern end of the ponds, over the far 
>> side of the water.  This was the only good looking habitat for crakes

>> (wet mud next to dense vegetation) and so I spent most of my time 
>> looking there.  I would think your best bet is to focus on the open 
>> mud areas at the base of reeds and dense veg rather than scan the 
>> whole edge.
> I did that this morning, slow scanning the mud and fast scanning the 
> reeds, and christened my new tripod head (128RC) with another look at 
> the Lewin's Rail.  It came out of the reeds directly opposite the 
> platform and walked to the left then crossed over to the near side.  I

> do think my previous slow scanning of the whole edge was causing me to

> miss birds that came out for just a few seconds.
> Also a few views of at Spotless Crakes in various spots, and what I 
> think was a Spotted Crake opposite the platform, but it was too quick 
> for me to be more than 90% sure.
> Peter Shute
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