We had a wonderful day at the the Werribee Treatment Plant…a bird paradise.

Early highlights were a flock of appealing Zebra Finches, and then a panorama of shining Canola highlighting the distant You Yangs.

canolaField of canola

Next were rows of mud-bottle nests under the eaves of one of the very few buildings. Their owners, Fairy Martins, were sweeping around the building, and nearby on a channel edge were two Black Fronted Dotterels.

fairy martin nestsFairy Martin nests

In the paddocks nearby were a number of Cattle Egrets following a herd of steer.

cattle egretCattle Egret

cow watchingWatching the Cattle Egrets

Flocks of elegant Avocets, with their rusty heads and unmistakable long upturned bills were our favourite sighting at morning tea.

avocetsThree Avocets

On reaching the furthest point in the road system we had hoped to see Orange-bellied Parrots(OBPs), as cage-bred young have been released there, and a departing bird watcher had seen one. Our hopes were dashed, as usual, but it was a great location for numerous other species including soaring flocks of migratory waders.

lunchLunch, but where are the OBPs?

We also were impressed to see, highlighted in the sunlight, the red knees of several Red-kneed Dotterels.

red-kneed dotterelRed-kneed Dotterel

There was also a flock of Banded Stilts with some more Avocets.

banded stiltsBanded Stilts

On the way we saw hundreds of Starlings perched on some posts, and on the return trip they had been replaced by one Pelican.

starlingsStarlings

pelicanPelican

Our most unusual sight for the day was a lone Black-tailed Godwit with its amazing long beak. My only other sighting of this species was this year in May, in Amsterdam!

birdhideThe only bird hide

We saw a number of Raptors but only a Black Shouldered Kite posed for a photograph.

kiteBlack Shouldered Kite

On our way back we stopped to admire a Black swan on a nest, and were delighted to see a pair of Brolgas near the shore behind the nest.

swanSwan and Brolgas

brolgasBrolgas

A couple of our party took a different, and longer route back and added six species to our total of 69…a record for us.

  1. Black Swan
  2. Australian Shelduck
  3. Pacific Black Duck
  4. Gray Teal
  5. Chestnut Teal
  6. Pink-eared Duck
  7. Hardhead
  8. Blue-billed Duck
  9. Musk Duck
  10. Hoary-headed Grebe
  11. Crested Pigeon
  12. Eurasian Coot
  13. Australasian Swamphen
  14. Brolga
  15. Pied Stilt
  16. Banded Stilt
  17. Red-necked Avocet
  18. Pied Oystercatcher
  19. Masked Lapwing
  20. Red-capped Plover
  21. Red-kneed Dotterel
  22. Black-fronted Dotterel
  23. Black-tailed Godwit
  24. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
  25. Curlew Sandpiper
  26. Red-necked Stint
  27. Silver Gull
  28. Whiskered Tern
  29. Little Pied Cormorant
  30. Pied Cormorant
  31. Australian Pelican
  32. Great Egret
  33. White-faced Heron
  34. Cattle Egret
  35. Australian Ibis
  36. Straw-necked Ibis
  37. Royal Spoonbill
  38. Yellow-billed Spoonbill
  39. Black-shouldered Kite
  40. Wedge-tailed Eagle
  41. Swamp Harrier
  42. Black Kite
  43. Whistling Kite
  44. Brown Falcon
  45. Galah
  46. Superb Fairywren
  47. Red Wattlebird
  48. White-plumed Honeyeater
  49. White-fronted Chat
  50. White-browed Scrubwren
  51. Yellow-rumped Thornbill
  52. Australian Magpie
  53. Willie-wagtail
  54. Magpie-lark
  55. crow/raven sp.
  56. Eurasian Skylark
  57. Welcome Swallow
  58. Fairy Martin
  59. Australian Reed Warbler
  60. Little Grassbird
  61. Golden-headed Cisticola
  62. Silver-eye
  63. Eurasian Blackbird
  64. European Starling
  65. Australasian Pipit
  66. European Greenfinch
  67. European Goldfinch
  68. House Sparrow
  69. Zebra Finch

Ellinor Campbell

Events Calendar

Oct
20

Sat 10:00am - 2:30pm

Oct
22

Mon 9:30am - 11:00am

Oct
22

Mon 11:00am - 1:00pm

Oct
28

Sun 9:30am - 11:00am

Weed of the month

Freesia

Freesia

Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.

More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.

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