Tag Archives: Australian Birds

A family of one legged Stilts…

Just to the north of the coastal bird-hide in the Lake Borrie Lagoons (Western Treatment Plant) is the mouth of the Little River. It is a great spot for various roosting birds at the high tides. On this occasion we found dozens of Red-necked Avocet roosting and preening and a few metres a small family of Black-winged Stilts.

Pied Stilt, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Black-winged Stilt family, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Red-necked Avocet, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Red-necked Avocets in a roosting flock, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

And the last one…

A great day at the Werribee Treatment Plant ended with a drive along the surrounding roads looking for the raptors using the fence posts as perches to watch for their evening meals. This little Kestrel was fluffed up against the cool air. The Nankeen Kestrel is also called the Chickenhawk (though it mostly hunts insects, small birds and mice), Mosquito Hawk and Windhover (due to its hunting technique). Its scientific name is Falco cenchroides – “resembling kestrel-like hawk falcon” (doesn’t leave much out).

Nankeen Kestrel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Nankeen Kestrel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Nankeen Kestrel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Nankeen Kestrel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Nankeen Kestrel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Target sighted…

The Little Duck-Hawk

Another of the raptors we found along the roads in the Treatment Plant was an Australian Hobby. I don’t often see this species though have seen one twice now in the last few months. I actually see Peregrine Falcons more often. This one flew into the Paradise Lagoons section along one of the roads and watched the various birds in the area as well as watch us slowly drive forward.   The Hobby (from old French “hobe” meaning small falcon) was also called the “Little Falcon” , “Little Duck-Hawk”, “Black-faced Hawk”, “White-fronted Hawk” and its Latin name means “Long-winged Falcon”.

Australian Hobby, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Australian Hobby, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Bassian Thrush winter project?

After the wild weather of last Saturday it was nice to get out into the Greens Bush forest again on Sunday and see what was happening. It was still early, a bit cold and many of the usual species I see there had decided to sleep in. One of the highlights beside some nice morning sun was finding several Bassian Thrush feeding on parts of the circuit track. Being quite dark under the trees I tried using the flash with some limited success but had better luck when I slowly followed the Thrush up the track a few steps at a time staying low until it finally moved into a mottled sun patch. This species is generally quite shy and due to its skulking nature has not been studied well. I see a few Thrushes most times I visit Greens Bush so I know it is a good spot for them. I can feel a project coming on.

Bassian Thrush, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Bassian Thrush, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Bassian Thrush, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

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Bassian Thrush, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

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Testing the flush zone at the treatment plant.

Towards the end of my last drive around the Western Treatment Plant we found several Brown Falcons using the fence posts as lookouts for their evening meals. Using the car as a mobile bird hide and watching for nervousness we managed to get quite close to a few. Depending on their age and temperament they had quite different flush distances (no-pun intended).

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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The Brown Falcon of 29 Mile Road

Two thirds of the Elwood Birding Crew aka Port Phillip Birders along with our regional member from up Knox way joined for a day at the pooh farm and surrounding roads. It was cold and grey with dim lighting but the number of raptors along the various roads was surprising and we kept our car windows down, and the heater, gloves and beanies on. We cruised the roads and lagoons, watched and photographed Brown Falcons, Wedge-tail Eagles, Kites and Kestrels. What better way to spend a cold winters day….dont tell Mary.

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Red-kneed Dotterel with red knees

I like it when a bird species has an identifying feature listed in its name, it makes birding just a fraction easier. Before the Spotted Crake did his dash across the small shallow lagoon a few Red-kneed Dotterels worked their way along the edge looking for small insects on the water.

Red -kneed Dotterel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Red-kneed Dotterel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Red -kneed Dotterel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Red -kneed Dotterel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Red -kneed Dotterel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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