We arrived at about 11 and left around 3.30. In this time we clocked up 83 species, notwithstanding wind and rain.
Luck seemed to be with us. We started at the T Section where the roads had all been graded and gravelled. We were most appreciative of this when it started to rain. All the usual suspects were here (waders, ducks, coots, cisticolas, finches, chats) as well as one confident and confiding Baillon's Crake, one Glossy Ibis and our friendly Little Grassbird.
Next, we drove to Western Lagoons, where we always add Red-capped Plover to our list. We were admiring waders here, when a couple of Brolgas flew overhead - always an inspiring sight. We were pleased to see a Marsh Sandpiper foraging beside a Common Greenshank, making a useful comparison.
We stopped along Beach Road to admire our first Black-shouldered Kite for the day, and saw a large flock of Zebra Finches with a few European Greenfinches tagging along, and Yellow-rumped Thornbills hopping amongst them. All birds we'd hoped to add to our lists for 2018.
We drove to the boat launch and I said I'd like a Pacific Gull. Obligingly, PJ pointed to the left. Then I requested a Pied Cormorant and immediately PJ produced one. While my luck was in, I said an Australasian Gannet would be good and one flew unusually close right in front of us! Howzat! Perhaps I should have requested a White-necked Petrel!
As we drove through the gate on Beach Road we could see ducks loafing on Freckled Duck Rock. We drove closer and confirmed they were Freckled Ducks. This was once a reliable spot to see them, but I haven't seen them there for years.
|Male Freckled Duck - I confess I did not take this yesterday|
We took the coast road to the Borrow Pits, then drove out along Paradise Road, where Cape Barren Geese were grazing. Our bird list was round about 80 and we were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. Then the peregrine appeared, right beside the car, and a couple of wedgies soared overhead as we drove through the final gate.
Werribee never disappoints, but yesterday was really one out of the bag.