Tip report - French Island (Victoria)

Subject: Tip report - French Island (Victoria)
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 14:15:38 +1100
Another brief trip report for the list.  This outing was to the far 
eastern side of French Island in Western Port which included some inland 
island localities to undertake threatened species monitoring and 
vegetation photopoint work by Friends of French Island National Park 

Unfortunately no White-bellied Sea-Eagles were seen all day (one aim of 
the trip) but an old eagle nest (Wedge-tail?) was seen in an area of burnt 
Pinus pinaster (an invasive weed on the island)

Notable observations for the day were:
- Mistletoebirds at nearly all locations we stopped at
- a single Fan-tailed Cuckoo was heard calling near the ranger station 
- three species of whistlers (Rufous, Golden and probable Olive) in the 
one day
- lots of Crescent Honeyeaters in the scrub and woodland locations 
- lots of Grey Fantails plus a few White-eared Honeyeaters, especially in 
the treed areas near 'Gartsides' in the far north of the island 
- 3 Great Egrets and numerous adult Pacific gulls in the eastern channel 
off Albions Point in the far east of the island
- a pair of very accommodating (extended views!) Scarlet Robins on 
Causeway Track in the central eats of the island/park.
- Cape Barren Geese near the rangers station and along Mt Wellington Road

'Missing' species were 
- most raptors (a single Black-shouldered Kite was seen) and no Swamp 
Harriers were observed
- most small bush birds (e.g. thornbills) although we did hear Brown 
Thornbills and see a single White-browed Scrubwren.

The island is looking superb at the moment and has lots of birding rewards 
to the observant and patient birdo who's prepared to travel to a variety 
of the islands habitats.

Martin O'Brien

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