American Golden Plover this weekend (Point Cook)

To: Paul Dodd <>
Subject: American Golden Plover this weekend (Point Cook)
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2014 14:59:06 +1100
Dipped. I was aiming to be there before the four hours after high tide that 
others have indicated is the best time, which worked out to 7.15 this morning. 
But the park gates are supposedly locked till 8am. 

I checked all the gates to see if any were open early - no. I tried to access 
the road shown on the park map going around the west side of RAAF Lake, but 
that's on RAAF land, as explained by one of many military personnel manning the 
RAAF base gates ready for the airshow. They thought that plan was pretty funny. 
No birds that way, they said, just cops with dogs.

I then drove through the housing estate off Point Cook Homestead Rd. I was able 
to drive out the back through the paddocks and very close to the tower, but 
didn't feel like jumping the fence. 

Piles of dirt have been placed against the fence there, which I was later told 
were to block access. This is apparently where the recently mentioned fence 
damage was allegedly done by birders trying to access Cheetham Wetlands to find 
the Oriental Plover. I had assumed someone had damaged the fence climbing over, 
but I was told they cut it to drive a car through.

I drove back, seeing several Stubble Quail in the headlights on the way, then 
saw the ranger drive past towards the Homestead. Bernie had unlocked the tower 
car park by the time I got there - early, just 7.15 - and I was able to walk 
through to the beach and around the point to the rocks. Still no access via the 
Homestead at that time of day.

I flushed several Brown Quail on the way through the pines to the beach.

I walked past the remains of the pier and all the way to the westernmost rocks 
without seeing much. I stayed on the track just off the beach to avoid flushing 
birds on the rocks. I found four Pacific Golden Plovers there, but none looked 
like the Birdline AGP photos.

Four other birders turned up after half an hour or so. About 9 am, all four 
PGPs flew off to the west. Some of us decided to check the rest of the beach 
again. No luck, and I left about 9.30.

Sometimes one feels uncomfortable leaving a twitch without having seen the 
bird. What if one hears later that it turned up a few minutes after you left? 
It was sort of comforting to see a jet fighter begin circling extremely low, 
slow, and loud over the park as I drove out. Good luck everyone who got there 
after that.

Peter Shute

Sent from my iPad

> On 28 Feb 2014, at 8:49 pm, "Paul Dodd" <> wrote:
> One thing to be aware of, this weekend, is that it's the Point Cook Air Show. 
> Traffic will be horrendous...
> Paul Dodd
> Docklands, Victoria
> Sent from my iPad
>> On 28 Feb 2014, at 5:45 pm, "" 
>> <> wrote:
>> Hi all, I'm just checking if anybody is planning to head out to look for the 
>> agp this weekend, either saturday or sunday.
>> If so can you e-mail me directly.
>> Yours in all things "green"
>> John Harris BASc, GDipEd
>> Director - Wildlife Experiences P/L
>> Principal Zoologist/Ecologist
>> Nature Photographer
>> Wildlife Guide
>> Croydon, Vic
>> 0409 090 955
>> President, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
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