Monday, January 25, 2016

Red-necked Phalarope - a 24 hour round trip to the poo ponds!

Well, it's happened again! I was at work on my lunch break when I received a message that a Red-necked Phalarope had arrived at the Western Treatment Plant in Victoria. I immediately rang my friend Vik and advised him to drop everything and get down there with his camera to find this rare bird which seldom visits southern Australia. Thankfully he did and we were able to get a photo for our website

I however was still in South Australia and could not get a day off until Sunday! AAAGGGHH I cried! What if it leaves before then?

So, I made daily enquiries and by Friday evening bit the bullet and booked my flights for after work on Saturday. My friend Dave very kindly dropped me at the airport and Vik kindly collected me from Tullamarine.

I was hoping my Lucky Birding Shirt would deliver the goods!

That evening we checked the days sightings, it had been seen that morning so things were still looking hopeful!

Sunday morning we were up and out early, armed with coffee, we arrived at the Plant by 7.40am.

By 7.41am we had the bird, thanks to my many birding friends who had already arrived armed with massive camera lenses and scopes.

I was surprised at how small this bird is, it was dwarfed, by even the dainty Marsh Sandpipers! We could not get near it though, although it did fly a bit closer to us at one stage, so the photos are not great, but hey, I'm just extremely grateful to have seen it  at all! We had extended views before it flew off, not to be seen again during our time at the plant.

Red-necked Phalarope


TICK! Red-necked Phalarope has become 717 for my Australian Life List. Oh happy day!

After THE sighting, the pressure was off and the day became a reunion, being able to catch up with friends who I rarely get to see while enjoying the wonderful birding.

Me waving, with Ruth (left) Paul to my right and Vik (dutifully photographing the Phalarope) behind Paul. Selfie courtesy of Ruth Woodrow!

Paul, Ruth and me - our annual Selfie!

Great-crested Grebe

Spotless Crake
Curlew Sandpiper

Australian Shelduck

Brolga on the move

Curlew Sandpiper

It was definitely worth the trip!  Thank you Vik for taking such great care of me, yet again!