26 January 2019
Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers; Species count: 60
Thirty members assembled on Australia Day in the Beach Car Park in pleasantly cool conditions following horrendously hot weather the previous day. On the way in, several people had seen a pair of Spotted Harriers flying over the RAAF Lake. Walking towards the shore, several Superb Fairy-wrens were seen foraging in the undergrowth and from the beach the majority of the birds seen were Silver Gulls with distant views of Australian Pelicans and Australasian Gannets.
An Australian Hobby flew low overhead and soon afterwards a Black-shouldered Kite gave everyone good views as it hovered over a nearby saltbush patch.
There were good views of a Singing Honeyeater but the real hot spot was back in the carpark where numerous small birds were feeding in a large old casuarina. Included were Yellow and Yellow-rumped Thornbills, European Goldfinch and Grey Fantail.
The members then drove to the RAAF Lake Carpark to see the new small wetland which contained plenty of water despite the dry weather. This was very productive with views of three Australian Spotted Crakes, Australasian Grebes, Pacific Black Ducks, Australian Reed-warblers and Zebra Finch.
A pair of Black-shouldered Kites perched in a dead tree and a large snake slithered off into the reeds.
After lunch the members drove to the Cheetham Wetlands car park, pausing en-route at the wetlands by the new housing estate. There, Purple Swamphens and Dusky Moorhens could be seen and a Brown Falcon perched on a power pole for a while before flying off.
From the car park members walked down to the shore. As it was low tide a lot of seabirds were at the Point and as the group cautiously approached they had good views of Common and Crested Terns, Little Pied and Pied Cormorants, Masked Plovers and with the aid of a telescope were better able to see Red-necked Stints and Curlew Sandpipers.
Walking back through the grounds of the old homestead Galahs were seen and an unidentified raptor was heard calling loudly.
Everyone agreed that this had been a most enjoyable excursion, with delightful views of numerous yachts sailing on the Bay enhancing the pleasure of recording 60 species for the day including several unusual sightings.
Many thanks go to Eleanor Dilley who provided all the photographs in this Report.
View complete bird list: BM Jan 2019 Bird List Point Cook