Birdwatching Update May 2022

It has been great to see so many avid birdwatchers back on site enjoying a wonderful summer of birdwatching.

In this update, you will learn about:

  • Keeping our Orange-bellied Parrots safe over winter
  • Temporary closure of our special access area
  • Our newly enhanced virtual tour
  • A visit from a mystery species

Keeping our Orange-bellied Parrots safe over winter

Orange-bellied Parrots are again on their annual migration from Tasmania and we expect some to spend the winter at the Western Treatment Plant.

To ensure the safety and health of the birds is maintained:

  • Ensure you remain under the prescribed speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour on all roads whilst on site.
  • Follow the instructions on all signage, including any temporary signage in place from time to time.
  • DO NOT ENTER areas you are not permitted to; a Road Closed sign means an area is closed to foot traffic as well as vehicle traffic.

If you are lucky enough to spot an Orange-bellied Parrot, please give the birds space and do not interrupt their wild behaviours.

For any sightings please email [email protected].

Photos below taken in 2021 by Steve Davidson

Special access area temporary closure

Photo of signage on Gate 8 in the birdwatching area of the Western Treatment Plant Western

The special access area* of the birdwatching route (entering through gate 8 and continuing east of Little River) will be closed to ALL birdwatchers for the following dates:

  • Monday 9 May – Tuesday 17 May 2022

This is due to critical environmental works to remove large sections of noxious weeds along 280 South Road.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

*The special access area is temporarily not accessible to new applicants or those who previously held only general area access. We are not issuing new special access keys as we will transition to a universal gate key for both areas in the coming months.

Take a 'beak' at our newly enhanced Virtual Tour

We are excited to have recently launched the newly enhanced Western Treatment Plant Virtual Tour, providing the community and schools with even greater access to the site, 24/7!

Explore the wetlands, take a journey down the pipes to discover what happens after you flush a toilet, and get a ‘birds-eye’ view of the footy ground at the WTP where one of the first ever women’s footy teams played!

Originally launched in 2019, the tour extended our popular WTP face-to-face education program. By using digital innovation, we responded to the demand for information and access to the site from the community. During the pandemic it has also been a key feature of our virtual excursions and tours, with our Education team providing over 100 webinars straight to students in classrooms or learning from at home. One webinar even reached over 1,000 water professionals across south-east Asia!

The 2022 version offers even more content, greater accessibility and usability for users. The new content includes stunning 360-degree images, beautifully curated overview videos of the site’s history, biodiversity and agriculture and photos and text that showcase the magic that happens at the Western Treatment Plant.

Watch one of the curated videos within the tour on Orange-bellied Parrots and share the virtual tour with colleagues, friends and family who would like to learn more about this special place.

A visit from a mystery species

For the second year running the Western Treatment Plant (WTP) has played host to a “mystery” species of Godwit (a migratory shorebird).

It remains unclear whether this bird is a vagrant Hudsonian Godwit or a hybrid between a Black-tailed and Hudsonian Godwit. If this bird is indeed a hybrid, this will be the first ever instance of a hybrid recorded between these two species. Experts are still working on this but in the meantime keep your eye out for this mystery Godwit.

Photos below taken by Dez Hughes.

Keep in touch

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If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact us via email [email protected] or telephone 131 722.