|Me with my cousin Liz and her partner Liz looking at waders|
Yesterday, Rog and I took my cousin, Liz, and her partner, also Liz, to Werribee for the day. Neither of them had been there before, and while my cousin had a pleasant day doing her sudoku in the back seat, I think it's true to say that each of us had a good time in his or her own way. Some of us even enjoyed the birds. Melbourne's Western Treatment Plant, about an hour's drive west of the city, is, without a doubt, the top birding site in the state. Highlights for me were excellent views of an Australian Spotted Crake, lots of Banded Stilts, wonderful close sightings of Red-necked Avocets swishing their chic bills from side to side as they fed, and terrific views of several Blue-billed Ducks, true to their name, with the bluest possible bills. I scored two new birds for my annual list: Common Greenshank (how had I missed on these until November I don't know) and Pacific Golden Plovers (sheltering from the wind in the samphire behind Kirk's Point).
|Freckled Duck at Werribee|
We had lunch at the borrow pits, commencing with a refreshing bubbly provided by Cousin Liz. Here a fellow birder informed us that he'd seen 55 Freckled Ducks south of Lake Borrie, so, as soon as the bottle was empty, we hurried over to Lake Borrie to scan the ducks. Most of them were pinkies, with a scattering of teal and pelicans, but not a Freckled Duck in sight. Not to be stymied quite so easily, my clever husband drove to a lagoon south of Borrie and quickly and expertly located the Freckled Ducks. I didn't count them, but it was a sizable flock and I'm happy to accept that there were 55. A big thank you to that friendly birder. A lifer for Liz! And a day well spent for us all. Some of us reaped rewards admiring waders, some from completing difficult sudokus. A bottle of bubbly and a couple of annual ticks will do it for me any day.