Lewin's Rails - Mt St Joseph pond, Altona (Vic)

To: "" <>
Subject: Lewin's Rails - Mt St Joseph pond, Altona (Vic)
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2010 08:25:21 +1100
Conditions were perfect for rail spotting this morning, no wind, overcast, and 
a nice amount of freshly exposed mud. The bottom of the pond seems to have 
silted up and become very flat, which means that quite large areas became 
exposed overnight with just a slight drop in level.

I spotted an adult Lewin's Rail in the reeds opposite the south platform soon 
after I arrived around 8am, then another joined it. They stood together for a 
moment then tussled and one flew a few metres and both continued feeding, 
sinking to their "knees" in the fresh mud.

I noticed another, much duller, at the edge 15m to the left, and a Spotless 
Crake close by to them, then had to leave to catch my train.  I now suspect 
this is a family group, the first two being the parents of this duller one, and 
that it hatched late 2008. The fourth, very dark one, not seen today, hatched 
late 2009. I'm surprised it took me this long to come to this conclusion, given 
that the numbers seemed to increase by one each year - some people are just 

Hopefully we'll have five by the end of the year - I wonder how many the pond 
can sustain.

"Possible" thunderstorms are forecast for the next couple of days. If the pond 
fills up then unless the next month is unusually dry, this might be the last 
sighting till at least November.

Peter Shute

Sent using BlackBerry

To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Lewin's Rails - Mt St Joseph pond, Altona (Vic), Peter Shute <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU