Tag Archives: Western Treatment Plant

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

III

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

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

IV

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

V

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

IV

A bold Crake

Spotted Crakes are often seen skulking around the muddy edges of wetlands usually very close to cover so a quick dash can get them back under cover and invisible again. I saw this particular Crake late one sunny afternoon at the small lagoon near the bird hide along the coast at the Treatment plant. He was walking quite boldly across the lagoon to the other side. Though as the sun dipped a bit he made the sudden dash back to the other side and straight back into cover.

Spotted Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Spotted Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Spotted Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

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Spotted Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

A quick look round and straight at me…

Spotted Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

…reached the other side for a peek around the salt-bush…

Spotted Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

…and a mad dash back again – the next few seconds later he actually took off in a low flight..