If you are like me and have only ever just heard about the birds to be seen at Western Treatment Plant near Werribee, then when you decide to visit you are in for a great day. The Ballarat Field Naturalists went on Sunday on their regular February excursion, to what people used to call the Werribee Sewerage Farm. The area is one of Australia’s most important wetlands for waterbirds and listed under the international Ramsar Convention.
As visitors must apply for a permit to bird watch and have a permit holder in each car, numbers on the excursion are limited. The purpose of the day is to see as many birds as possible if you are a birdo, and the site provides habitat for thousands of birds. Weather and time of year determines the numbers of different birds observed.
The area is extensive and we covered about 60km just driving around to different sites. The site is a mix of intertidal areas, rivers, creeks and estuaries, natural wetlands, grassland, coastal salt marsh, conservation ponds and drains.
The bird list for the day will be printed in the next newsletter but we saw over 65 different species and it is great to have access to people who have such a wealth of knowledge about birds.
If birds are not your main interest then there are some great views to the You Yangs, across the salt marshes and along the coast. I have added some photos of my non bird highlights.