Last month we visited the Western Treatment plant at Werribee, and were pleased to see 50 species of birds.
It was a cool and very windy day so most of the birds were hunkering down. We were most impressed with one Pelican which flew against the strong wind to land atop two very narrow poles…what gorgeous birds they are.
We saw a number of raptors, including a Swamp Harrier which tried to carry off a dead animal, but finally dropped it into the choppy water. There were hundreds of swans but none with babies, unlike our pair with five thriving cygnets at Allen Noble Sanctuary.
Cygnets at Allen Noble
We saw a few of the handsome Whiskered Terns which were characteristically swooping and dipping over the ponds.
At our lunch spot at the far end of the road system, we found shelter from the wind in a more treed area, known to be popular with Orange-bellied Parrots(OBPs)…but not on this day!
However we did see several elegant Black Winged Stilts, and a couple of striking Pied Oystercatchers.
On our way back we visited the bird hide which last time had been in disrepair, but being high tide there were few birds to be seen there.
Outside bird hide
Inside the bird hide and the nearest we got to seeing an OBP
Further on we saw a large number of ducks and cormorants close to the seashore. For a while there was a feeding frenzy, which a number of Gannets joined and exhibited their amazing diving technique.
Masses of duck, cormorants, gulls and spot the tern
In the last moments we were very pleased to able to add to our list two species of Crakes and a Red-kneed Dotterel.
Below are all the birds identified:
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.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.