Sunday, 26 August 2012

More at the WTP

Following the Pratincole encounter and the Glossy Ibis, I headed further along the beach track to the Lake Borrie outlet where I found a pair of Cape Barren Geese at the location at which I photographed (what I presume is) the same pair 18 months ago. The larger bird posed nicely for a portrait shot

before charging its mate...

but a bit of butt sniffing...

and it all ended happily

Cape Barren Goose, Western Treatment Plant

under the watchful eye of this Nankeen Kestrel.

Nankeen Kestrel, Lake Borrie Outlet, Western Treatment Plant

It was high tide by the time I got to the bird hide so there was not a lot of activity there but I did manage to get a good view of some pelicans flying over the bay against dark clouds but lit by a bit of sunlight that broke through the overcast behind me.

Australian Pelican, Western Treatment Plant

One last stop at Paradise Ponds on the way out yielded a close-up of a lone Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Western Treatment Plant

and a large mixed flock of Red-necked Avocets and Banded Stilts, mostly feeding in the shallow water

Red-necked Avocet, Western Treatment Plant
Banded Stilt, Western Treatment Plant

but some roosting on the mudflats on the northern side of the pond.

Red-necked Avocet + Banded Stilt, Western Treatment Plant

Oriental Pratincole at WTP

I had not been out birding for 10 weeks and for much of this time, while overseas, I had been reading reports of an Oriental Pratincole (a bird I'd never seen before) being seen at the Western Treatment Plant. So, despite the weather report of cold, windy and overcast conditions, I ventured out this morning in quest of the elusive Pratincole.

I'd had some good clues as to where to find it so headed for the Western Lagoons but it was nowhere to be seen. However, persistence did pay off. After waiting for 15 minutes, it did a flyby for about 30 seconds before heading over to Austin Road. I only managed a few (really bad) shots but I'm glad I saw it :-)

Oriental Pratincole, Western Treatment Plant

Another 30 minutes of waiting proved fruitless so I headed for the Beach Road entrance and was rewarded with views of six raptor species (Nankeen Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite, Swamp Harrier, Brown Falcon, Whistling Kite and Little Eagle) during the 10 minute slow drive along Beach Road, with the first two close enough to the roadside to photograph out of the car window.

Black-shouldered Kite, Beach Road, Western Treatment Plant
Nankeen Kestrel, Beach Road, Western Treatment Plant

The Beach Road pond provided good views of a single Glossy Ibis feeding among Purple Swamphens

Glossy Ibis, Western Treatment Plant
Glossy Ibis + Purple Swamphen, Western Treatment Plant

along with several Royal Spoonbills flying around

Royal Spoonbill, Western Treatment Plant


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