RFI - Victorian birds

To: Frank Hemmings <>, birding aus <>
Subject: RFI - Victorian birds
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 14:01:35 +1100
Hi Frank

There is great birding in the Anglesea Heath - just drive up into the heathland behind the town. Melways maps give a rough indication of where you can go. Lawrie Conole has specific sites for Beautiful Firetail and Chestnut Rumped Heathwren but I haven't been able to find them here. Make sure you check weather and fire conditions before you start out - it is going to be extremely hot and probably dangerous for fires - a total fire ban is almost assured for Thurs & Fri.

For your target species:

Olive Whistler

Might get it in the heath, but more likely in the area behind Lorne. Go along Allenvale Rd, through Allenvale and on a few Km to the first obvious Picnic Ground (Sheoak I think - forget the name, sorry). You should get good birds around here, such as Pink Robin, Olive Whistler, Satin Bowerbird, Rufous Bristlebird in heathy areas, and possibly Powerful Owl.

Striated Fieldwren (I am lining up a visit to Weribee so am guessing I may see this here?)

Possibly, but the best place is at Kirk Point - drive to the end of Beach Road and go into the last gate on the right, just before the boatramp. Follow the track until you get to a channel marker. I've seen calamanthus around here - also look for Golden Plover and possibly Greys, as well as Turnstone and Sanderling. Note that you need a permit to be in this area, although gates are not locked usually. Please don't go further around the beach form there as it's a protected area and off-limits.

Hooded Dotterel

Bancoora Beach is the easiest - drive into Breamlea, and just before the houses start there is a turnoff to the surf club and carpark (on the left). Walk straight onto the beach from the clubhouse area and look left and right! I've most often seen them to the right, near the rocky point - should also be Sooty Oystercatcher and Caspian Tern.

Cape Barren Goose

There are 23 or more at the wetland on Paradise Rd, opposite Lake Borrie (in WTP, permit required). If you don't have a permit, drive along Pt Wilson Rd past the Avalon airport road, and after a couple of sweeping curves, there is a gate on your right. You can only enter here with a permit, but you can see Cape Barren Geese from the gate at the moment - usually behind the big lagoon on your right.

Rufous Bristlebird

Loch Ard Gorge is the famous spot, but closer to Anglesea you should find them almost anywhere in the heathland on the coast. The tracks around the lighthouse at Airey's Inlet are usually good, or the carpark at Point Addis, just west of Bell's Beach. The woodland between Bell's and Pt Addis is a favourite spot - Ironbark Basin - and holds a good variety of bush birds. There is a pair of Powerful Owls in here but good luck finding them! A little easier are the Sitellas that are usually not far from the carpark at the Ocean Road end.

Song Thrush (either Anglesea area or somewhere close to inner city Melbourne)

Not so easy to find around Geelong any more. We had one on our balcony here at Ocean Grove on New Year's Day, and that's the only one I've seen at Ocean Grove in 4 years. Best places in Geelong are in the older parts of town with big gardens, such as West Geelong and Newtown. You might have more luck in Melbourne. Look out for Tree Sparrow in the same places.

Good luck

Russell Woodford
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