Last month we visited the always wonderful Melbourne Treatment Plant at Werribee.
Despite being cool and very windy, plus early rain, we had a great day and saw masses of birds…43 species.
Braving the elements
An early highlight was sighting two Glossy Ibis. Later in the day it was the turn of a pair of Brolgas which we saw three times…or six different Brolgas!. These elegant birds with wind-ruffled feathers, half dancing along the sand banks were such a delight to see.
In between times we saw masses of mainly waterbirds, but were not able to identify any rarities.
We followed a different route from usual, though with about 200 kms of roads there are lots of choices, and stayed mostly near the sea.
At lunch time we found a second bird hide which most of us had never seen before. After a cursory look at nearby birds we hunkered down inside, enjoying a respite from the wind.
After lunch we were really disappointed to find that the large flock of about 100 splendid Avocets had all flown, and we did not see them anywhere else.
However a small colony of Jewel spiders sheltering in a corner of the hide passageway surprised us with their complex web structure. At the base of their dense combined cobweb they had suspended a small stone, presumably to help stabilise the web in the wind… and what a testament to the strength and versatility of spider silk.
Below are all the birds identified on this walk:
Photos by Alison and Phil Watson
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.