Bird survey 2 March

Thanks to better-than-average summer rainfall, the large Freshwater and Saltwater Lake levels are high, as before, bringing small numbers of diving feeders such as Little Pied and Little Black Cormorants, Hardheads, Australasian Grebes and Hoary-headed Grebes, the latter present in higher numbers.

Teal are slightly more common now, while other water birds remain singly or in very low numbers. Unusually, we saw no Silver Gulls anywhere in the park – with just 28 along the Yarra River.

The lower than usual numbers (or none at all – Little Wattlebird) of the four honeyeater species seen year-round in Westgate Park are most likely due to the lack of flowering trees and shrubs during late summer.

Interesting/notable sightings:

•  A single Rufous Fantail near the Friends’ compound. These seasonal visitors are occasionally observed from March – early April.

•  Three Pink-eared Ducks filter-feeding in a tight circle on Large Freshwater Lake.

•  An unidentified shore bird was briefly seen by some survey members flying rapidly from the southern edge of Large Freshwater Lake. It was possibly a Latham’s Snipe; Lucas Brook reported one on 9 February (eBird)