Mick?s SA- Vic Trip Report PART 3- Adelaide- Geelong

Subject: Mick?s SA- Vic Trip Report PART 3- Adelaide- Geelong
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2002 22:45:56 +1000
Mick?s SA- Vic Trip Report
PART 3- Adelaide- Geelong

25/8- 26/8 Coonalpyn area- (35 41, 139 36). Here was the only place that I found Red-lored Whistlers on the trip. I managed to obtain extended audio recordings of two different birds as well as a few photos. Interestingly the calls seemed to be a bit different to those that I?m aware of from central NSW. I haven?t had a chance to go through them yet. They were certainly muted and weren?t as full-bodied as the calls that I?ve recorded from NSW. Also I don?t believe that they gave any of the mutual Gilberts/ Red-lored calls that both species give in NSW. The habitat was VERY different to what I?m used to finding them in in NSW and I can see why I became so confused with responses to my queries on Red-lored Whistler habitat last year. However, there were still some structural similarities and it was fascinating seeing the birds here.

Overall, birds were pretty sparse (except for New Holland Honeyeaters) but I did find Shy Heathwren (photos), Southern Scrub-robin, Golden Whistler, Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Yellow-rumped Pardalote, Pallid Cuckoo, Horsfields Bronze-cuckoo and the Mallee Whipbird (some nice recordings- thanks DH for the tip).

26/8  Coorong. By this stage of the trip I was running out of time so I raced through the Coorong and as a consequence didn?t see much. I stopped at Salt Creek for lunch and took the Lakes Nature Trail. Here I found Banded Stilt (54), Red-necked Avocet, Australian Shelduck, Scarlet Robin and Eastern Yellow Robin.

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve- This was almost completely dry. A covey of Brown Quail was about the most interesting thing here.

2 km S. Narracoorte ( 36 59, 140 42)- Banded Lapwing (2).

By the time I reached Victoria it was dark. I came across Barn Owls at a couple of spots around Nelson (38 02, 141 00).

26/8- 27/8  Lower Glenelg NP (38 02, 141 09). Among the birds I found here were Powerful Owl (2), Masked Owl (photos), Southern Boobook, Grey Currawong, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Red-browed Finch (I love my finches) and some very photogenic Eastern Yellow Robins and Superb Fairy-wrens.

27/8  Portland- I spent some time watching and photographing a lone Curlew Sandpiper with an aluminium band on the right leg and an orange flag on the upper left leg and a yellow flag on the lower left leg. While I was watching this bird a gang of 4 Little Black Cormorants raced in to the shallow water under where I was sitting and for about 30 seconds frantically hunted small fish, hunting as a pack. The water was so clear that I could see both the cormorants and the fish racing below me through the camera lens!  Other birds here were Pacific Gull, Musk Duck and 14 Black-faced Shag on a floating jetty in the harbour.

Yambuk Lake Rd (38 20, 142 04)- Black-tailed Native Hen (200), Yellow-billed Spoonbill.

Yambuk Beach (38 20, 142 03)- Hooded Plover (2, photos).

Bay of Islands Coastal Park- Boat and Trailer Car Park (38 34, 142 49)- Striated Fieldwren. One of these beautiful birds was up on an exposed branch singing wonderfully at 3 in the afternoon with a reasonable number of vehicles and people around. Of course, when I pulled out the camera it refused to show itself! Other birds that I saw here included Black-faced Shag out on the stacks out to sea, Australian Shelduck (including one out on a stack at sea!) and Long-billed Corellas (also on the stacks- especially the ones frequented by Silver Gulls). Seeing Long-billed Corellas flying out to sea was an amazing sight. I heard Rufous Bristlebirds here also.

Bay of Islands Coastal Park- Crofts Bay (38 35, 142 51)- I saw my first Rufous Bristlebird here. It was quite shy unlike the ones I saw later on! Also a Southern Brown Bandicoot ran in front of me at this spot.

1.5 km E. Peterborough- Rufous Bristlebird.

Port Campbell NP- Loch Ard Gorge Carpark (38 38, 143 04)- Here I finally caught up with the amazingly tame Rufous Bristlebirds. To see such a naturally shy species behaving like sparrows was an unusual experience. It seemed as though the more people and vehicles that were around the more bristlebirds there were. Someone really should be studying this phenomenon. Are these bristlebirds faring better or worse than populations that avoid people? Here I also heard Southern Emu-wrens.

Peterborough- Pied Oystercatcher (2), both with colour bands. Both had a red band above aluminium on the right leg. On the left leg, one appeared to have had white over yellow, and the other appeared to have had blue over white. I took photographs of the birds involved but the distance involved doesn?t make it easy to tell the white and yellow. Do these colour combinations make sense? Also here I enjoyed the novel spectacle of a Black Kite soaring just above the waves and around the headland. Hooded Plover.

Mathieson Road, west of Peterborough (38 31, 142 44). 3 Red-necked Stints, 3 Australian Crakes and 20 Black-tailed Nativehens.

Lake Cundare NR (38 08, 143 37)- Banded Stilt (~90), Red-necked Avocet (~90).
Cundare- Duverney Rd (38 06, 143 33)- Cape Barren Goose (2).

30/8  Geelong and surrounds. Margaret Cameron kindly showed me around the Geelong area. We caught up with Tree Sparrows at Queenscliff (38 15, 144 39) while the Queenscliff Golf Course yielded Pacific Gulls, Golden Bronze-cuckoo, Singing honeyeater (I never came to terms with seeing these on the Victorian coast!), White-fronted Chat (43) but unfortunately no Orange-bellied Parrots. At Lonsdale Lakes Nature Reserve (Victoria Lake) (38 16, 144 36)- Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (7+), Red-necked Stint (~30), Banded Stilt (25), Red-capped Dotterel, Little Egret (8).

And to finish up at Newcom (38 10, 144 24) Margaret's keen ears finally identified the calls of Purple-crowned Lorikeets (photographs) above the cacophony of Rainbow and Musk Lorikeets.

I feel like I've just seen a glimpse of many of the places that I visited and I'm now looking forward to having more time at them sometime in the future!


Mick Todd
Griffith, NSW

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