Beginners outing to Point Cook Coastal Reserve

25 January 2014, species count 54, Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers

At the beach car park, 41 members assembled on a pleasantly cool morning, some already having seen a Little Eagle and a Whistling Kite over the heathland as they drove in. Taking the southernmost track, Willie Wagtails and European Goldfinch were plentiful but the hoped-for Brown Quail were elusive (a single bird was seen later). A gusty wind made our task difficult as we returned on the beachside track, seeing only a few species over the heath and the bay.

The totally dry Spectacle Lake was bypassed on the way to lunch at Cheetham Wetlands car park, from which Swamp Harriers and a lone Brown Falcon were seen. The afternoon walk was a circuit taking in Point Cook and returning past the Homestead. An Australasian Pipit stood obligingly for all to see before we reached the ‘hot spot’ at the Point. There, a sizeable flock of Red-necked Stints foraged on the beach whilst many Crested Terns and several Common Terns rested on the rocks with Pied and Little Pied Cormorants. A White-faced Heron waded amongst them. Highlights near the Homestead were a Sacred Kingfisher and a light-morph Brown Falcon, both of which remained perched for all to see.

Despite missing out on a few target species, the group had enjoyed a lovely day birding in a great location.

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