Tag Archives: Curlew Sandpiper

Return to Stockyard Point

When I got home from the last twitch at Stockyard Point near Jam Jerrup, I saw a report for another rare vagrant to Victoria – the Little Stint. It was seen in the flock we had just left. Due to its brown/orange breeding plumage it stood out from the 100s of the plain grey over-wintering Red-necked Stints. Without the colour plumage it would have been identical to the others and no-one would have noticed it. We waited two weeks for another suitable weekend where the tide was high at a reasonable time. The weather, if possible, was even colder but at least newly purchased thermals helped keep me warm. It took a while to spot the little wader but an eagle-eyed and patient birder (Emma) finally found it  – Lifer 347. We spent the next four hours watching it move from the sand spit to a small sand bank out of the strong cold wind. Much of the time its head was tucked in as it napped at high tide. When it looked up a dozen cameras would snap away. Several times it flushed and we thought we had lost it but it always seemed to come back to the same sand divot.

Little Stint Twitch, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Little Stint Twitch, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Mixed wader flock, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Mixed wader flock, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Mixed wader flock, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Mixed wader flock

Little Stint and waders, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Little Stint and waders, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Little Stint and waders, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Little Stint and waders II

Little Stint and waders, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Little Stint III

Red Knot and waders, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Red Knot in bright breeding plumage and mixed waders

The real Point Cook.

Until I went to have a look at the Cheetham Wetlands in Altona Meadows I never knew that there was actually a geographical landmark of Point Cook. I thought it was just an outer fringe suburb of South Western Melbourne.

There is an old homestead and cafe nearby and an easy to reach carpark. There is a path straight down to the beach and a short walk along the beach to Point Cook. Another path from the carpark meanders through the grass fields to the wetlands observation tower.

The Actual Point Cook

The Actual Point Cook

A quick visit to the Point at high tide produced quite a few shorebirds feeding along the edge or preening and resting on the rocks.

Red Necked Stints

Red Necked Stints

Red Necked Stints II

Red Necked Stints II

Red Necked Stint

Red Necked Stint

Crested Terns

Crested Terns

Crested Tern II

Crested Tern II – on processing I noticed the tern wore a silver band on his right leg

Crested Terns and Curlew Sandpipers

Crested Terns and Curlew Sandpipers

Melbourne CBD Skline from Pt Cook beach

Melbourne CBD skyline from Pt Cook beach

A walk along the beach and then following a vehicle track brought us to the tower with views of the city and over the wetlands. At this time of year (late Summer) the wetlands are quickly drying out. I assume that the creek below the tower is being fed by the suburban street runoff from recent rains.

Cheetham Wetlands Observation Tower

Cheetham Wetlands Observation Tower – through the heat haze

Cheetham Wetlands Observation Tower II - an interesting design - fanciest bird hide I have ever been to...

Cheetham Wetlands Observation Tower II – an interesting design – fanciest bird hide I have ever been to…

Cheetham Wetlands Observation Tower III

Cheetham Wetlands Observation Tower III

Cheetham Wetlands  Observation Tower old nest

Cheetham Wetlands Observation Tower with an old nest

Cheetham Wetlands from Observation Tower

Cheetham Wetlands from Observation Tower

Cheetham Wetlands from Observation Tower II

Cheetham Wetlands from Observation Tower II

Cheetham Wetlands from Observation Tower III

Cheetham Wetlands from Observation Tower III