Tasmania Long Spit Nature Reserve

To: <>
Subject: Tasmania Long Spit Nature Reserve
From: "michael hunter" <>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2001 13:19:16 +1000
  Last Friday, June 22nd 2001, on the edge of the Continental Shelf in a
small boat organised by Rohan Clarke, we saw a Grey Petrel for the first,
possibly last, time, as a clinical trial of  a personal anti-seasickness
regime proved to be not only ineffective, but exacerbated a natural tendency
to the pelagic disease
to an extreme degree. The trip will go down as "The Big Spit".
  Thanks Rohan.

 (If there is a next time we'll try it your way)

   Disappointingly, the Sunday pelagic was called off by a supercautious
skipper contemplating seven metre seas, and we looked elsewhere for
ornithological entertainment. The famous Dunalley Bakery staff weren't much
help, cool if anything on realising we were birders and probable "greens";
their main customers are loggers.
  Our host at the Pottery Loft didn't know any names, but insisted on a
visit to the beach at Marion Bay nearby, where there were "lots of little
birds running up and down the beach". Along the 8km road in were Yellow and
Brush Wattle-birds, Musk Lorikeets, Clinking Currawongs noted from the car.
   To the right of the (unmarked on our map) few houses at Marion Bay
village at the end of the road a large sign noted the entry to "The Long
Spit" Private Nature Reserve, which proved to be a great find.
    A long narrow spit of sand dunes encloses a sheltered lake. The 1km+
beach on the ocean side had a familiar look, like several others in
Victoria, S.A. and W.A. where we had tramped vainly for hours looking for
Hooded Plover, and right down the far end of the beach , among Pied
Oystercatchers and Pacific Gulls, were two Hooded Plovers, one brilliantly
coloured with bright orange eye-ring and bill, black tipped, against the
black hood , white collar with black yoke, divided below, behind the collar.
The second was in effect a paler shadow , a juvenile in Slater's book.
     Kelp Gulls with white bars on black tails breed on the adjacent
offshore stacks and a couple were seen as well as the Pacific.Australian
Pied Oystercatchers were there in numbers, and two Sooty Oystercatchers on
the end of the spit. Probably a hundred Blackfaced Cormorants roosted  on
Oyster leases on the lake side.
      In the dunes a dozen Greenfinches flocking, and Striated Fieldwrens

       Walking back along the sheltered side with Tim Reid who appeared
doing a monthly survey, we saw Double-banded (20+) and Red-capped Plovers,
White-fronted Chats, Little Stints, male and female Flame Robins,
Goldfinches also flocking, Skylarks and Pipits.

         The rains came down as we reached the carpark, where my dearly
beloved had locked the keys in. Eventually, thoroughly soused while helping
a friendly  Hobartian with his three Korean students demonstrate the
oriental art of breaking into our Korean car, we retired again to the
Dunalley social centre, the Bakery/coffeeshop, thence the airport via an
expensive trip to Richmond and its antique shops.

           The Tasmanian Masked Owl site in Thomas & Thomas is now owless,
not seen at the hole by us or others, apparantly found dead on the road

Michael Hunter
Mulgoa Valley
50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge

Michael Hunter
Mulgoa Valley
50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge

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