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In recent weeks club members have been observing Banded Stilts in very good numbers at Moolap Saltworks. These enigmatic and wonderful birds have been seen well from near the pump-house. David Tytherleigh and John Newman observed 765 Banded Stilts, with 665 Red-necked Avocets on the week-end of 20/21 September and Barry Lingham reported several hundred Banded Stilts on 29 September. This is a critical area for these species, and many others, which is currently Crown Land and is subject to a major housing redevelopment. A proposal which the GFNC is strenuously opposing. ...Craig Morley

David and Craig headed out to Reedy Lake for a very enjoyable period of observation at Woods Road late on 18 October 2014 (18:50-20:10; sunset 19:37). There were numerous highlights: 2 Brolgas flying in a few moments after sunset, a Hobby making the most of the fading light skimming past shelterbelts in an attempt to flush birds and later, well after sunset, feeding on flying insects, a small flock of Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos flying towards a distant roosting site, a female Darter flying away from the wetland and a solitary Latham's Snipe rapidly flying through.We also listened intently for bitterns calling. Alas we heard none.      ... Craig Morley

A full bird list follows:

Black   Swan 20
Grey Teal 60
Musk Duck 1
Australasian Darter 1
Eastern Great Egret 1
White-faced Heron 1
Australian White Ibis 20
Straw-necked Ibis 50
Royal Spoonbill 1
Yellow-billed Spoonbill 1
Black-shouldered Kite 1
Swamp Harrier 4
Purple Swamphen 90
Brolga 2
Black-winged Stilt 35
Masked Lapwing 4
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper 110
Curlew Sandpiper 1
Latham's Snipe 1
Whiskered Tern 120
Australian Hobby 1
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo 8
Red-rumped Parrot 2
Superb Fairy-wren 10
White-plumed Honeyeater 6
Red Wattlebird 2
New Holland Honeyeater 6
White-browed Scrubwren 2
Yellow-rumped Thornbill 4
Grey Butcherbird 2
Australian Magpie 4
Willie Wagtail 2
Magpie-lark 2
Australian Reed-Warbler 4
Little Grassbird 4
Golden-headed Cisticola 4
Common Blackbird 2
Common Myna 2
Common Starling 2
European Greenfinch 1
House Sparrow 6

Little Grassbirds

The Little Grassbird is classified in the Geelong Bird Report as moderately common, breeding, resident. Widespread in dense waterside vegetation. However, as every birder knows, it's very difficult to get a prolonged and satisfying view of one of these handsome birds. So it was with great delight that David Tytherleigh was able to observe and photograph two grassbirds making repeated visits carrying food to, what must have surely been, their nest-site in a very thick patch of lignum at Reedy Lake. It is also noteworthy to have a local breeding record of this species. These images are published with David's kind permission. ...Craig Morley

Little Grassbird Reedy Lake Oct 2014

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Members thoroughly enjoyed a good walk to the end of Edwards Point on Thursday 23rd October, 2014. ...Craig Morley

A total of 69 bird species was recorded from the Beach Road car park to the point with a short and enjoyable detour to the Cliff St wetland. There were many highlights but one of the more fascinating aspects was prolonged views of an adult male Golden Whistler in aberrant plumage (photo). This bird, with a pale grey/fawn breast and full black chin-strap and greyish back, was first reported, from the same area in the north of the reserve on 31/08/2010, as an adult in similar plumage (Geelong Bird Report 2010). The bird has the song of a Golden Whistler.

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Full bird list, with numbers counted on walk from car park to the point (including a short detour to the Cliff St wetland) for the excursion led by Angus Hartshorn.

Black Swan

60

Australian Shelduck

7

Grey Teal

400

Chestnut Teal

50

Spotted Dove

2

Little Pied Cormorant

20

Great Cormorant

1

Little Black Cormorant

350

Pied Cormorant

50

Australian Pelican

40

Eastern Great Egret

4

White-faced Heron

25

Little Egret

4

Australian White Ibis

500

Straw-necked Ibis

800

Royal Spoonbill

4

Whistling Kite

2

Swamp Harrier

2

Nankeen Kestrel

1

Brown Falcon

1

Black-winged Stilt

4

Red-capped Plover

10

Masked Lapwing

2

Common Greenshank

5

Red-necked Stint

6

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

7

Curlew Sandpiper

1

Caspian Tern

4

Whiskered Tern

30

Crested Tern

10

Pacific Gull

3

Silver Gull

100

Galah

2

Rainbow Lorikeet

2

Crimson Rosella

1

Eastern Rosella

1

Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo

1

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo

3

Fan-tailed Cuckoo

3

Superb Fairy-wren

30

White-browed Scrubwren

6

Striated Fieldwren

1

Brown Thornbill

12

Spotted Pardalote

1

Singing Honeyeater

2

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater

20

Little Wattlebird

2

Red Wattlebird

3

White-fronted Chat

6

New Holland Honeyeater

10

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

2

Golden Whistler

4

Rufous Whistler

4

Grey Shrike-Thrush

2

Grey Butcherbird

1

Australian Magpie

10

Pied Currawong

2

Grey Fantail

30

Willie Wagtail

2

Little Raven

4

Magpie-lark

2

Eastern Yellow Robin

4

Eurasian Skylark

3

Silvereye

40

Welcome Swallow

30

Common Blackbird

5

Common Starling

10

Red-browed Finch

20

European Goldfinch

2

There have now been several records of these shorebirds which visit our part of the world after flying from the northern hemisphere. At Black Rock Reserve, over the week-end of the 25th/26th October 2014, more than 20 Pacific Golden Plovers were loafing on the rocks in the Blue Rocks area. There were also several Ruddy Turnstones and many Red-neckd Stints, along with three Great Cormorants, on the rocks. ... Craig Morleyresize P1180049 300x225