RFI: Species for Vic year list

To: <>, "'Luke Shelley'" <>, "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: RFI: Species for Vic year list
From: "Paul Dodd" <>
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2012 20:42:52 +1100
You are, of course, correct, Green John! I think that in your year either 
Stuart Dashper or Fiona Parkin scored 226 which would make one of them the 
current number five…




Sent: Thursday, 6 December 2012 2:25 PM
To: Paul Dodd; Luke Shelley; Birding Aus
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] RFI: Species for Vic year list


Hi Paul,
Tim's is 4th from my knowledge, mine was 335 in 2006 (the year of the "Vic 
Twitch"), Tim Dolby 2nd in 2008/09(?) and then your 390 odd... just for the 
record :-).

Yours in all things "green"

John Harris
Croydon, Vic
Owner - Wildlife Experiences
Nature Photographer
Wildlife Guide


President, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria

----- Reply message -----
From: "Paul Dodd" <>
To: "'Luke Shelley'" <>, <>
Subject: [Birding-Aus] RFI: Species for Vic year list
Date: Wed, Dec 5, 2012 23:13

Hi Luke,

It sounds like you've had a good year - and if your total in Eremaea is
correct, 320 species seen this year so far, that's a pretty good effort. I
can't recall the exact numbers but I believe that Tim Bawden's 328 in 2011
is the third best Victorian year total - at least of the records that I'm
aware of, so you have a fighting chance at that one.

The bitterns are always difficult. Ruth and I had a spectacular week in
December 2010 where we saw all three "Victorian" bitterns - Little Bittern
at Reedy Lake (near Geelong) on 19 December (the same day we also saw the
Stilt Sandpiper at WTP), Australasian Bittern in a flooded dam at Terrick
Terrick (our second sighting of this species for the year - the first being
at the Western Treatment Plant) on 21 December, and Black Bittern on the
Genoa River at Gipsy Point on 23 December. Interestingly we had our third
encounter with an Australasian Bittern at the Western Treatment Plant on New
Year's Eve 2010, when the temperature was in the mid-40s with a strong
northerly wind! Unfortunately, I haven't heard of any sightings of
Australasian Bittern or Little Bittern in recent times. The only thing I can
suggest for Australasian Bittern is to try the edges of swamps in central
Victoria - Kow Swamp, for example, and perhaps the Kerang lakes. You could
try Reedy Lake near Geelong, but it involves wading through cold
knee-thigh-deep water and hoping you either hear a bittern or manage to
flush it.

Lewin's Rail - I think that the swampy ponds near the bird hide at the
Western Treatment Plant are still the best bet. We have seen this species
there several times this year, and even had it cross the track in front of
us on two occasions. I suggest trying either really early or quite late in
the day. The south side of the track (ie. Towards the Beach Road gate) is
the most reliable.

Lesser Sand Plover - unfortunately Mud Islands are your best bet. We also
saw this species on Clonmel Island (one of the Gippsland "barrier" islands)
in 2010. You could try Stockyard Point.

Wood Sandpiper - it used to be that the Conservation Ponds at Western
Treatment Plant were reliable for this species, but I haven't heard of any
this year. By chance we saw one at Alcoa Wetlands in Portland in 2010 too -
but once again I haven't heard of any.

Ruff - there have been no sightings of this species in Victoria this year
that I am aware of.

Pectoral Sandpiper - there is definitely at least one at the WTP at the
moment. Ruth and I saw it in the Western Lagoons a couple of weekends ago.
John Barkla saw it (presuming it's the same bird) in the Conservation Ponds
last weekend.

Painted Snipe - the central and northern Victorian swamps are your best bet.
Unless there is one out in the open, this will involve walking the edges of
the swamps to hopefully flush one. I note that there are two records from
November of this year - Burramine South Swamp (near Yarrawonga) and at Lake
Murdeduke near Winchelsea.

Arctic Jaeger - perhaps your best bet is to do a bit of seabird watching.
Steve Davidson constantly sees this bird from the Western Treatment Plant.
Ruth and I saw one the other day from Avalon Beach - and two weeks ago we
saw one tangling with a flock of gulls over the Beach Road boat ramp at the
Western Treatment Plant. Remember these are called "pirate birds" because
they steal the food from gulls and terns, so it pays to look for larger
birds flying over flocks of gulls and terns.

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet - I think your best bet is the Ocean Grove Nature
Reserve. Do yourself a favour and cover up completely and use
tropical-strength mosquito repellent as they are terrible there. Banule
Flats, Yarra Bend Park, Westerfolds Park and other eastern suburban parks
are also good - but I think it is more luck to see them there, whereas at
OGNR they are reasonably constant and reliable.

Song Thrush - Botanical Gardens - as EARLY as you can possibly get there.
The only place worth looking is on the lawns along the northern boundary
early in the morning before the hordes of visitors arrive.

Red-whiskered Bulbul - good luck. Ruth and I saw ours in suburban Ferntree
Gully - but on a more recent visit we could not relocate them. Interestingly
the Common Mynas were still imitating the Bulbuls!

Good luck!

Paul Dodd
Docklands, Victoria

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Luke Shelley
Sent: Wednesday, 5 December 2012 7:06 PM
Subject: [Birding-Aus] RFI: Species for Vic year list

Hi everyone,

My 2012 Victorian Year List is coming to a close, and I have a few species
outstanding. Don't worry, no records will be broken!

Can anyone help me with some reliable locations or recent sightings for the
following birds around Melbourne or within a day trip?

Lewin's Rail - I have tried WTP a number of times without luck Australasian
Bittern - not many sightings this year (that I have heard of), perhaps more
Australian Little Bittern - still a bit early?
Lesser Sand Plover - I've only ever seen these on Mud Islands, but I won't
have time to get out there Wood Sandpiper - I've tried Hospital Swamp, ETP
Boundary Rd and Stockyard Pt Ruff Pectoral Sandpiper - I am aware of a
couple of sightings at WTP in the last fortnight Australian Painted Snipe
Arctic Jaeger - this would be a lifer for me - any ideas of a good place to
see them? Often offshore at WTP?
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet - have tried Rickett's Pt Song Thrush - have tried
Royal Botanic Gardens and CERES Red-whiskered Bulbul - I doubt there is such
a thing as a reliable site for this bird!



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