|Cape Barren Goose|
We had a wonderful day at Werribee on Friday. Raptors starred. We saw lots of waders and ducks and several crakes, including one Spotted Crake standing on a rock!
Early in the day, we bumped into Martin doing a survey, so we found out all we could. He told us about Broad-billed and Pectoral Sandpipers, Double-banded Plovers, Black Falcons, Freckled Ducks, Little and Fairy Terns and Blue-winged Parrots. We searched in all his recommended spots, but we did not see any of these birds.
We saw many Whistling and Black Kites, a couple of Black-shouldered ones too. Several Swamp Harriers, one Brown Falcon, and a Brown Goshawk and an Australian Hobby.
A crake ran across the road in front of the bird hide. It was very dark, and might have been a Spotless Crake, but I was not sure. We saw several Australian Spotted Crakes and one skulking Buff-banded Rail. The light was not good. It was on the other side of the river, and in the binoculars just looked like a dark rail, but in the scope there was no doubting his identity. I had never seen a crake perched on a rock before. The rock was in a lagoon, surrounded by water. The bird flew, only to be attacked by (of all things) a Welcome Swallow. The crake disappeared under the water, never to be seen again. I assume it swam under water to the bank.
The Golden-headed Cisticolas were, as ever, very beautiful. A Little Grassbird sat obligingly up on top of a bush, determined to get its name onto my list. White-winged Black Terns swooped over the lagoons, and loafed on the beach, so we could admire their non-breeding plumage properly through the scope. We saw a remarkable seven Great Crested Grebes, always one of my favourites.
A most enjoyable day. Many beautiful birds. As a Sydney friend of mine said recently: 'it's impossible to have a bad day at Werribee.'