Definite Lewin's Rail - Mt St Joseph, Altona, Vic

To: "'Paul Dodd'" <>
Subject: Definite Lewin's Rail - Mt St Joseph, Altona, Vic
From: "Paul Dodd" <>
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2008 10:17:58 +1100
A good morning at Mt St Joseph's pond. There was light fog in Melbourne, but
NONE in Altona!

Ruth and I arrived at the pond at about 6:05am. The Lewin's Rail made an
appearance at about 6:15am, emerging from the reeds and walking
right-to-left across the mudflats directly in front of the southern viewing
platform. The light was poor for photography (I ended up having to set the
camera to ISO1600 to have any chance of a picture), but was perfectly good
for identifying the Rail. The bird was visible for about one minute before
disappearing into the reeds again.

At approximately 6:30am a Lewin's Rail appeared from the reeds in much the
same spot *again*. This sighting led us to think that there may be a pair of
Rails - either that or it has a tunnel through the reeds to its starting
point. Once again the bird moved right-to-left, taking about one minute to
complete its journey.

Just after this Peter Shute and I saw a Spotted Crake immediately below and
to the left of the viewing platform - at the same time the Lewin's Rail made
an appearance on the opposite mudflats walking initially left-to-right
before moving back the way it came. I think the excitement of seeing the
Lewin's again meant that the Spotted Crake had disappeared before others
could see it! The Lewin's spent about two to three minutes in the open
before disappearing again.

Other observers saw the Lewin's from the northern viewing platform sometime
after 7:30am.

The other usual suspects were also seen this morning - at least four
Spotless Crakes (an easy tick for anyone that doesn't have it), Sharp-tailed
Sandpiper, Black-fronted Dotterel, Dusky Moorhen (including several
immature), Purple Swamphen, Little Grassbird, Clamorous Reed-warbler,
Golden-headed Cisticola just to name a few.

The Peregrine Falcon was also seen again this morning, but not by Ruth or I.

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