blp shabash 430x45
Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Werribee Treatment Plant, Werribee

Werribee Treatment Plant, Werribee (Image ID 46406)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Tue 18th May, 2021 and uploaded on Sun 23rd May, 2021 .
Resolution1800x915
Viewed154
ID46406
CommentThis image of a saline wetlands coastal habitat close to the Little River Bird Hide tells many stories. The sheer beauty of the reddish and green hues of saltmarsh flora in the autumn. The habitat’s attractions for the Pied Stilts working the pool, and for some Australian Pied Oystercatchers working the Port Phillip mudflats (top left-hand corner). The various shrubs and plants that provide shelter for birds and insects alike. The saline pool itself, with its own insect and mollusc food sources, and which shrinks and expands depending on season and rainfall. And examples on the skyline of the kind of industrial foreshore development that have destroyed and continue to destroy much of our fragile coastal wetlands. Most spectacular at this time of year is the Beaded Glasswort (Sarcocorina quinqueflora) which turns from green to various shades of red, with its salt-tolerant succulent “fingers” pointing upwards (seen on the left side of the pool and an even deeper red patch on the right far side). Between the shoreline and the pool there is a band of the beautiful Coastal Grey Saltbush (Altriplex cinera) which provides important roosting sites and cover for both small birds and visiting migrant waders (particularly at high tide). And between the Saltbush and the water, there is a dense band of lower-growing Shrubby Glasswort, also turning reddish in autumn. The seeds of these three plants are of great interest to our critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrots, so perhaps it is not surprising that this is one of the places they head for every autumn from their breeding grounds in Tasmania, with only roughly 200 birds left in the wild. But besides the Stilts and Oystercatchers in the photo, and our most endangered parrot, there are many other species who come to enjoy this habitat. It was only two months ago, at the end of summer when the pool level was much lower with mud flats around it, that I sighted two Australian Spotted Crakes, famously elusive, emerge from the shadows and venture into the water, surrounded by swarms of pond skaters. Lively White-fronted Chats, White-browed Scrubwrens and Willie Wagtails abound in the shrubs surrounding the pool. On the skyline, just visible, are the cranes of industrial and other developments in the vicinity of Geelong, the kind of activities, no doubt rationalized on economic grounds, that continue to erode and destroy what remains of coastal and saline wetlands around the world. A recent Arctic Council study, for example, has found a 20% reduction in the waders who migrate from there to Australia and other Asian destinations due to climate change and industrial impacts at the East Asian-Australia Flyway stopping points along the way, particularly in the Yellow Sea (“Climate crisis behind drastic drop in Arctic wildlife populations – report”, Guardian, 20/5/21, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/20/climate-crisis-drastic-drop-arctic-wildlife-populations-aoe). This Werribee habitat is one of those rare places of beauty and peace for birds and human visitors alike. Our continued destruction of Australian coastal wetlands around the country through human-induced climate change and so-called “development”, diminishes us beyond belief. Is this the kind of beauty and birdlife we are going to deny to future generations?
EquipmentNikon Z7 with Nikon 24-200mm, focal length 175mm
ISO 1250
1/250th f14
Monopod
LocationWerribee Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria. Werribee & Avalon KBA
Keywordsadult
You already have an outstanding request to download this image for non-commercial purposes. You may cancel this request by clicking on the button below and waiting for confirmation that your request has been noted. When you have selected all the images that you require, go to 'My Download Requests' (under Photo Gallery) and submit your request by clicking 'Edit/Submit' and filling out the details. You will be advised of the result by email. Note that cookies MUST be enabled for this to work.
You may request download of this image for non-commercial purposes. A request that meets the usage rights of this image will be automatically approved; a request that does not meet the usage rights will be refused, but may (at the Download Manager's discretion) be referred to the photographer. The usage rights of this image are: Any non-commercial use by any requestor, including personal use. For further details of image usage rights, see here. Request the image by clicking on the button below and waiting for confirmation that your request has been noted. When you have selected all the images that you require, go to 'My Download Requests' (under Photo Gallery) and submit your request by clicking 'Edit/Submit' and filling out the details. You will be advised of the result by email. Note that cookies MUST be enabled for this to work.
Previous93/96 in Landscapes-Habitat-KBAsNext
Previous235/273 by Michael Hamel-GreenNext
Previous28350/29104 OverallNext
Use the arrows at the left and Right hand side of this page to display the Next/Previous photographs in that group, or click on one of the blue links above to start a slide show in that group (group slide shows are only allowed if there are less than 1000 images in the group).

CONTACT US

The easiest way to contact us is by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Our People page, in the About Us section, contains email links to each of the committee members.