WTP Gratitude

The world famous Western Treatment Plant is where I first truly identified as a birder. It is now minutes from my doorstep. It is hard to fully realize, but I do know that I am grateful.

My friend, James Cornelious, and I did a bit of birding around the WTP Friday afternoon. Then on Sunday, James, Oakley Germech and I birded there with Karen Weil for her birthday! Lynn was still a bit under the weather and did not join us. However, we all went back to the tiny house for a lovely visit at the end of the day. And it was a wonderful day indeed. I am grateful for my friends!

We had a lot of good birds on both days. We had White-bellied Sea-eagles, Musk, Blue-billed and Freckled Ducks. There was a flock of gorgeous White-winged Black Terns (that defy my photography abilities). We also saw many of the usual suspects as well as the resident rarity, Terek Sandpiper.
White-bellied Sea-eagle with the You Yangs in the background.
We also had two beautiful Orange-bellied Parrots fly over us just as we were beginning to leave the Borrow Pit. I stopped at the edge of the carpark and Oakley said, “Let’s have one last look.” And just as he began that look, two OBPs came flying toward, and then over both vehicles. Oakley shouted something. Although his exact words were lost in the excitement, they included, “Oh My God!” and possibly the phrase, “There they are!” Regardless, he alerted us all and we all saw them. I have no idea whether they were released birds (more likely) or birds that had arrived from Tassie (present in the area). It did not matter to me. I just loved seeing these small, critically endangered gems of the parrot world again. And what a fitting Birthday present for Karen! I am grateful.

And we also had two magnificent Brolgas fly over us on Sunday. These massive cranes are one of my (admittedly many) favourite birds. I saw my lifer Brolgas at the WTP on 2 January 2011, a date that added 17 birds to my early Australian Life List. I do remember that day, Ruff and Terek Sandpiper were among the new birds for me. It would be 6 years before I saw another Ruff in Oz.

Here are some photos from Friday and Sunday at the little piece of heaven we sometimes affectionately refer to as the Poo Farm. I am grateful for the Western Treatment Plant.

White-winged Black Terns, beautiful, but not as impressive when I photograph them.

Musk Ducks are very cool
Pair of White-bellied Sea-eagles in Lake Borrie
Terek Sandpiper... such a cool bill

Black-faced Cormorant at the "cormorant jetty"

Peace. Love. Birds. Gratitude.