Beginners outing to Point Cook Coastal Reserve

24 January 2015; leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers

Species count: 57

Fifty members, including several ‘new’ beginners, began the walk at the beach car park in pleasant weather conditions. Singing and New Holland Honeyeaters were foraging in the trees and a lone Brown Quail was seen in dense undergrowth. A Black-shouldered Kite hovered over the heathland and an Australian Hobby flew swiftly overhead. Golden-headed Cisticolas and European Goldfinches were also seen there, perched on dead bushes. On returning to the cars, a convoy was formed to drive the short distance to Point Cook Homestead.

On the way, we stopped beside the road at a constructed wetland which proved to be very productive. Birds sighted included an Australian Reed-Warbler on a nest and two Australian Spotted Crakes. Later in the afternoon, 10 members returned to this site and saw a Baillon’s Crake which shows how well waterbirds respond to the right environment when their normal ponds have dried up.

Lunch was eaten at the Cheetham Wetlands car park where a Spotted Harrier was seen to land in an adjacent paddock. Getting a good look at Zebra Finches flying on and off the fences provided an interesting challenge for some of the beginners. The group then walked past the old Homestead to the shore where birds were plentiful. Highlights were several Common Terns perched on rocks at the Point and a Black-faced Cormorant resting on the Homestead jetty. Returning to the cars, a young Brown Falcon perched on a fence post created a lot of interest.

57 species were recorded for the day, including ‘firsts’ for many of the beginners and some great sightings for all.

See attached bird list for this outing: BM Jan 2015 Bird List Point Cook

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