A Visit to the Poo Farm

The Western Treatment Plant, as it is more properly known, covers a vast area of 10,500 hectares which includes a variety of natural habitats. As well as providing habitat for many birds, some rare frogs reside here. It was declared an internationally significant wetland for waterfowl in 1983 under the Ramsar Convention. We spent our time around Lake Borrie and nearby lagoons where the ‘recycled water’ finally makes its way to the sea …… so the title of the blog is ever so slightly misleading!

Western Treatment Plant – You Yangs appearing through rain mist

We woke to the sound of steady rain on our roof with a forecast for 100% chance of continuing showers last Saturday. Undeterred by this challenging outlook we arrived at the Western Treatment Plant at 7.30 am as arranged, to find Deb and Graham ready and waiting.

Graham and Deb; two dedicated and very helpful birder friends.

It’s amazing how many birds can be seen in such wet weather – while the little bush birds were a little quieter the shorebirds absolutely loved the conditions and the ducks, of course, were in their element.

Pink-eared Ducks and Chestnut Teal in the foreground

Apart from plentiful and varied bird life there are areas of Samphire and related vegetation that I find intriguing although my knowledge is extremely limited. Spit Point provided a wonderful array of colour in grey conditions.

White-fronted Chats, Superb Fairywrens and Horsfield Bushlark were all seen foraging around here along with Striated Fieldwrens.
Striated Fieldwren
Through a rain-spotted windscreen Black-tailed Native Hens were seen foraging and the rain cleared enough for a couple of photos.

There is something very photogenic about Avocets – I like the way they stand around together forming attractive groups to please the eye.

Red-necked Avocet with a bill that looks as if drawn with an upward flourish of a pen.
The Western Treatment Plant treats half of Melbourne’s water and is an internationally recognized bird habitat.
A grey day – sea meets horizon from the WTP bird hide

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