Friday, 24 April 2015

Suburban Wetland Surprise

On our way through Melbourne to the airport last week, we decided to explore the Dandenong Creek wetlands in Rowville. These are easily accessed from the back of the BP service station in the Northbound Eastlink side, between Wellington and Ferntree Gully Roads (see Google maps here; note that Google Earth shows very little of the current wetlands being present).

There is a nice concreted ride/walk path along the creek for miles, providing good access to the wetlands. There are several shallow lakes surrounded by rough grass and few small shrubs.

Along the mudflats were dozens of Grey Teal, a few Chestnut Teal, 8-10 Black-winged Stilts, a few Red-kneed and Black-fronted Dotterels, Purple Swamp Hens, Dusky Moorhens, a Royal and a Yellow-billed Spoonbill. On the way back, we watched a Nankeen Kestrel dive on a snack in the long grass.

All in all, a surprising hail of birds in a short time and surrounded by houses and industry (although they are all a few hundred metres away). Definitely warrants a longer exploration next time.
Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia)

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)
Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

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