Wandering with Werribee Wagtails: Altona

Getting right into this organised birding thing.

The Werribee Wagtails group met at Altona for a look at the shore, the river, and the lake.

So off we went.  Weather was fine, company was excellent and we made a few finds and discoveries along the way.


All ready for a great day out and about, members of Werribee Wagtails on the track.


Always full of excitement the New-Holland Honeyeaters seem to own every bush and shrub along the waterway.


Sharptailed Sandpipers at work in a drain. The top bird is starting to show some chest colour, getting ready for the long journey north.


Common Greenshanks. I’m alway amused by the “Common” moniker.  Does it mean there are “uncommon Greenshanks”, or perhaps “Special, or Important” greenshanks?


Along Kororoit Creek we found a number of numbered Swans.  The programme is run by the guys at Myswan Database, and I’ve even got some info in the Albums area of another one we followed for awhile.


Teals take advantage of a convenient roosting place.


Spotting along the Kororiot Creek. EE is obviously on to something.


J28, another numbered Swan from the series.

Here is the details from the Database.

J28 Database

J28 even has her own passport.  The white collars are female, the black collars are male.
The red spots on the map indicate she spends a lot of time in the area.


View across the lake at Newport Lakes, after years of hard work the area has developed into a great bird habitat. Spot the Australasian Darter. For bonus points, spot the Nankeen Night Heron.


Closeup of said Darter and a cormorant friend.


Oh, there you are!   Nankeen Night Heron pretending to be somewhere else.   I spotted the colours as we were walking down the track to catchup to the group. (yes, I’d done it again) and didn’t take any time to check it out.  (See my tardiness in the Mt Rothwell blog report.)

But when everyone had settled on a view, I went back for a closer look.


Heading homewards across the stepping stones over the lake.   A good day.  Extra points for Spotting Mr An Onymous. (but then he wouldn’t be would he?)

2 thoughts on “Wandering with Werribee Wagtails: Altona

  1. Wonderful walkabout writings! (Sorry, I love a bit of alliteration too).

    Very interesting about Myswan database. How long do they have the collars on for?

    I feel the use of the word “Common” to describe any bird or animal should be banned! It gives all the wrong connotations. I have a friend who is studying the “Common” wombat and they are trying to get it changed to the Bare-nosed Wombat.



    1. Hi Christine,
      I don’t know for sure, but from what I’ve heard, its a collar for life.
      The programme has been going for a number of years, and it is based around Albert Park Lake where there is quite a number of resident birds, pretty much human tolerant, (except during nesting). They are beggars and on any given day no doubt receive more than their fair share. They also have to put up with the F1 Car Race, fireworks, and people with dogs. But. They are always there in big numbers.
      Its intriguing to find that they don’t ‘mate for life’, many of them have changed partners, or moved on to other places.
      The collar is quite loose fitting, and is in no danger of choking them, although a big male with a neck feather show will look like the collar is too small for him. But when he quietens down, its seen to be ok.

      I have, as always, a problem with the collaring, tagging and otherwise marking of birds, but am tolerant enough to realise that for some research its a necessary process.
      The Swan Database folk will answer questions and are pretty interested in anyone who is wanting to help.




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