28 January 2023
Leaders: Roger and Inta Needham
Species count: 49
Despite the forecast for extreme heat and strong winds, 17 members attended Point Cook Coastal Park. At 10am the group walked through the Beach Picnic Area to the beach. Superb Fairy-wrens and Yellow-rumped Thornbills were the most numerous birds seen in the area. A Crested Pigeon obligingly remained close to the path to enable photographers some close shots. On Port Phillip Bay rafts of Silver Gulls could be seen.
Soon after exiting the Beach Reserve carpark, an unnamed lake on the right contained large numbers of ducks including Australian Wood Ducks, Chestnut and Grey Teal and Pacific Black Ducks. Australasian Grebes were seen gliding across the far end of the lake and Magpie-larks were numerous around the shore.
At the RAAF Lake birds were huddled close to the North shore to avoid the worst of the wind and through the ‘scope Australian Shelducks and Pied Stilts could be identified. Alongside the carpark in a patch of Dock Weed two Golden-headed Cisticolas provided all in the group close sustained views.
Across the road on a small wetland Australian Reed-Warblers were seen flying across the water and landing in the reeds. Both adult and juvenile Dusky Moorhens were seen and members had close views of Australasian Grebes in breeding plumage. Flying over the wetland were Welcome Swallows accompanied by a number of Tree Martins.
The constructed wetland at Saltwater Coast beside Citybay Drive produced sightings of Eurasian Coot and a Little Grassbird. A Little Pied Cormorant was perched atop a viewing platform. In the gardens surrounding the wetland New Holland and White-plumed Honeyeaters and European Goldfinch were seen.
The lunch location was under the shady trees beside the Homestead parking area. Numerous Little Ravens and Magpies were in the trees there and a number of raptors were seen hawking over the trees to the south including a Brown Falcon and a juvenile Collared Sparrowhawk.
Members set off after lunch toward the Homestead and most walked along the beach toward the Point. Good sightings were had of Pied Cormorants and the youngest member of our group, picked out two Black-faced Cormorants sitting on the remains of an old jetty. Soon after passing the jetty a cooling breeze from the west arrived.
At the Point was a multitude of Silver Gulls and numerous Crested Terns. On closer inspection a couple of flocks of Red-necked Stints were noticed foraging amongst the seaweed and a few Common Terns were perched on rocks alongside the Crested Terns. Two Black Swans were also seen there.
The rain received over the past few months ensured that many of the lakes in this area held water and the vegetation looked healthy. Regardless of the heat members enjoyed the opportunity to see the 49 species some of which were new to some members.