Werribee Sharpie etc

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Werribee Sharpie etc
From: jenny spry <>
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2009 18:02:28 +1100
Hi all,

It was a very pleasant day at Werribee with all the usual suspects
eventually being found around the various ponds, including close on 40 Cape
Barren Geese.

Notable was a Sharpie down at the T section ponds. I noticed it as it
thrashed around in shallow water in some distress. It was close to the edge
and as it thrashed, head often under water, birds collected on the bank to
watch. They were flying in from some distance and finally included a stilt,
stints, sharpies, curlew sandpipers and a marsh sandpiper. The total count
was forty-seven birds. They all stood just staring as the sharpie finally
struggled ashore, then they gathered around it in a circle. Very interesting
to watch the way birds of various species were drawn in to the drama.

I initially suspected a broken wing but the bird eventually hobbled upright
and flew off, all in one lurching flapping movement. Photos taken as the
bird took off suggest a broken leg was the cause and I suspect a fairly
recent break as the bird was still alive and otherwise well and yet had not
learnt to live using one leg. When the bird left, the watching crowd of
birds, and me, drifted away like spectators after an accident. I do wonder
what its fate will be? Not good I guess.

Still, all in all, it was a beautiful day to be out and about birding. Happy
new year everyone


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