Sunday, 17 February 2019

Australia - VIC - Geelong Area - Mixed Bag of New Species!

The first day of my Victorian adventure began in the Geelong area at Reedy Lake which was as the name suggests but was otherwise dry. The lake is part of the Lake Corewarre Reserve which was also dry in this area. I walked a couple of overgrown paths which led into open areas. 

A couple of Golden Headed Cisticola made their presence heard and wasted no time in appearing on top of a bush.

A group of Red Browed Finch responded to some pishing giving good views in the same area.

Walking further down the track Australian Pipit was feeding on insects in a low area of heath.
I spent some time attempting to access Lake Corewarre which was now enclosed by private land. I spoke to a passing cyclist who directed me to the Hospital Swamp which ironically is maintained by hunters who protect the avian residents for nine months of the year then blast the ducks for the remaining three! 

The swamp was alive with shorebirds who took to the air sporadically giving the opportunity to take photos as they turned above me. Greenshank was present in smaller numbers with a couple of White Backed Stilt. I did not see any ducks aha its hunting season!

I had been keeping my eyes on the surrounding fields in the hope of finding Brolga but had been unsuccessful. However a single bird was stood in the far third of the shrinking lake. This was a relief to me as much of the area was inaccessible.
Time was moving on and I drove down to the headland with a view to working my way back to the Western Treatment Works to arrange access.

I stopped at Lake Lorne which regularly holds Freckled Duck. I had failed to see this species at other sites and the lake was only 5-6km away therefore the opportunity could not be wasted. There were several present on the lake along with Grey and Chestnut Teal, Pink Eared, Pacific Black and an array of other wetland species including Royal Spoonbill.

The edges of the lake had muddy areas which entertained juvenile Black Fronted Dotterel, White Backed Stilt, Latham’s Snipe and a Red Kneed Dotterel which gave the camera lens the slip a couple of times.

I stopped off at the Western Treatment Plant on my return to Melbourne avoiding the toll section of the freeway on the way back!