Weekend Outing to Jawbone Reserve/ Truganina Park

25 July 2015

Species count: 82

This outing covered Jawbone Reserve, Truganina Park, Laverton Creek and Truganina Swamp

Led an outing for BirdLife Melbourne to Jawbone Reserve/Truganina Park/Laverton Creek and Truganina Swamp. 25 people attended the 9am start to a beautiful but windy, winter day.
Us early risers had already started birding before the start time and a few species had already been seen on arriving at the meeting place. Once everyone had turned up, we started, walking east towards the Boat Club and on the way, seeing a flock of Pied Cormorants and a small party of four Sooty Oystercatchers. Four species of Cormorant were present as we made our way down the thin path leading to the boardwalk. Along the path we were lucky to flush 12 Brown Quail, which had already been sighted earlier by a few members.

It was a good start, and as we continued on to the bird hide we picked up three Blue-billed Ducks as well as the usual common species. We continued along the wetlands, collecting species. As we went, we saw our first Raptor of the morning which was a beautiful Black-shouldered Kite. Of note were two Black-tailed Native-hens feeding on the Island, and one male Blue-billed Duck in full colour. A huge flock of Australasian Gannets were seen feeding out in the ocean, and as we continued towards Kororoit Creek Road, we spotted a large flock of White-headed Stilt and a couple of pairs of Australasian Shoveler. As we walked along the path we heard a small feeding party of Yellow Thornbill which is such a lovely little bird and great views were had by all.
As we arrived at the Western end of Jawbone Reserve we noticed that the tide was high which meant the smaller waterbirds weren’t present, but we walked to the mouth of Kororoit Creek to check anyway. A few Crested Terns, a large congregation of Royal Spoonbills, Great Egrets and a lone Red-necked Stint (67 species seen).

After everyone’s excitement we walked back to our vehicles and made our way to Truganina Park. After some discussion I decided that Laverton Creek may be worth a visit. The main objective was to see if we could find any roosting birds on the spit, and as it was high’ish tide we had easy access. The wind however had picked up, and the birds weren’t overly excited about it. As we started to eat lunch we had already seen Flame Robin, White-fronted Chat and two birds of prey: a Whistling Kite and an Australian Hobby. As we walked along the creek we flushed another small party of five Brown Quail and a very obliging Striated Fieldwren calling beautifully for everyone. As we neared the spit there was lots of action: Pink-eared Duck, Australian Shelduck and Australasian Shoveler, the highlights on duck species; Little Egret, Yellow-Billed and Royal Spoonbills, and a huge flock of Red-necked Avocets (58 species seen).

From here we decided to have a quick one hour look at Truganina Swamp and it didn’t disappoint. Many duck species and the more common waterbirds were around. We did get a nice view of a Swamp Harrier as it circled above and as we walked to St Joseph Pond we heard both Spotless and Australian Spotted Crake (35 species seen).

Overall, another great day had, with a great group of like minded people to spend a wintery Saturday with and see some beautiful birds. Can’t wait until next month’s outing and getting some nice rainforest birds at Toolangi.

Overall tally for the day: 81 species

Outing Leader and contributor: Philip Peel

See bird list for the day: Bird list

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