A quick visit to the north
coast of Tassie provided some interesting highlights.
A smooth crossing on the ferry started the trip off
well. Shortly after leaving Devonport whilst heading west along the Bass
Highway, a paddock with 70 plus cows, each attended by 2 Cattle
Egrets, was by far the most Cattle Egrets that I have
ever seen at one time.
Native Hens were also seen whilst travelling this highway towards
Rocky Cape. I'd seen these on a previous visit (when I was only
mildly interested in birding) so they weren't a new bird.
commitments and a quick visit to Rocky Cape NP took care of the next day, then a
trip down to Arthur River added the only Great Egret that I was
to see. Arthur River has a plaque informing you that it is the "Edge of
the World". Next stop west, South Africa, next stop south, Antarctica, and
with an icy, gale force wind blowing, I had no trouble in believing
we were booked to return to Melbourne, so a slow crawl west along the north
coast was to provide further highlights. .
Harbour added a White-breasted Sea-Eagle plus 2
unidentified pelagic species. One was an Albatross and
although I tried to pick up some diagnostic features, not at all sure of
species. The other I think may have been a shearwater. All brown
bird with very large wingspan. I can see a pelagic trip on the
At Table Cape, a
pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles were enjoying the blustery
conditions whilst further east, on the northern bank of the Inglis River at
Wynyard, Strong-billed, Yellow-throated and Black-headed
Honeyeaters in the one tree and in the same area,
Dusky Robin, but dipped on the Tasmanian
all possible, the wind was worsening. Not promising for our return trip
across Bass Strait on the ferry.
time we arrived in Devonport it was also pouring. The sea was putting on a
performance worthy of an Oscar. Added
Sooty and Pied Oystercatchers along the foreshore.
Then we were
northbound on the ferry. The sea had no respect for large
ships. As anticipated, we were in for a roller coaster ride with
50 knot winds forcing the closure of the upper decks, with only the lower deck
open for smokers. Even then, it was unsafe to wander far from safety
of the bulkhead which provided a buffer from the wind.
found the only way to avoid joining the numerous "casualties" was to
continue walking outside and watching the turbulent seas. It was a
I'll be able to 'survive' a pelagic trip after all. Saw 60+ species.