Mallacoota trip report

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Mallacoota trip report
From: "Marlene Lyell" <>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 23:30:13 +1000
Hi All,
   Just spent a couple of weeks in far east Victoria and south-eastern NSW.  We hadn't planned to visit NSW, but the inclement weather in Mallacoota (highest rainfall in Victoria for May) saw us heading north to Narooma for two days. I thought I might be lucky and find a White-cheeked Honeyeater as Pizzey mentions they are down are far as Bermagui.  No such luck. 
Some highlights at Narooma included a Striated Heron which landed on the rocks within 10' of where I was standing.  Excellent 
An Azure Kingfisher working along the edge of the boardwalk.
Over-wintering Bar-tailed Godwits foraging on the exposed sand at low tide
3 beautiful White-breasted Sea-Eagles prowling over the inlet. Whilst watching one of these, a brown bird of prey flying above them caught my attention.  Momentarily thought a Whistling Kite which were also around, but thrilled to realise that it was a Square-tailed Kite. Only my second sighting, the first being along the Strzelecki Track about 20 years ago.
The following day, slowly headed south.  Called into Mimosa Rocks NP but the weather from Victoria was heading north.  The blustery wind and intermittent rain made birding virtually impossible, but a small puddle on the side of the main road provided a wonderful sight with White-naped, Fuscous and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, Brown Thornbills, Yellow Robin and Silvereyes bathing and drinking.
By the time we reached Tathra, the heavens had opened. Back to Mallacoota.
A few days later, with the rain again preventing us from fishing, (Ian's obsession) we drove north from Mallacoota to Genoa and returned, slowly birding along the way.
The Genoa floodplains (1 1/2k's se Genoa), normally a lush green cattle paddock with a small creek running through, was now flooded, which provided some interesting sightings.
Australasian Shovellers (8),  a Darter, Hoary-headed & Australian Grebes, White-faced Heron whilst the Swans had moved over to the next paddock.
Birds in the bush on the other side of the road included Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, King Parrots (20) Restless Flycatcher and Bell Miners. 
At this one site, in-between heavy showers, we counted 38 species.
At Gipsy Point, which must be the stronghold of the Wonga Pigeon where they roam across the road in front of you, we counted 29 species.
Back at Mallacoota, the list ran to 28 species including an Eastern Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwits, Red-capped Plover, Pied Oystercatchers, Great & Little Egret and Royal Spoonbills on the lower lake, plus Satin Bowerbird, Horsfields Bronze-cuckoo, Lewins and New Holland Honeyeaters were a few of the bushbirds.
On a very wet, windy Saturday afternoon, we'd accounted for  71 species.
This was our 7th visit to Mallacoota and the predominately green Satin Bowerbirds have definitely increased in numbers.
The only new bird for the trip was a Beautiful Firetail along the Genoa River.
If anyone would like any further information I'd be happy to forward it after the weekend.
Happy birding
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