Birds along the Great Ocean Walk Victoria - Great Otway National Park

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Subject: Birds along the Great Ocean Walk Victoria - Great Otway National Park
From: "Sue-Ellen and Ray" <>
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2012 13:48:50 +1000
Hi Everyone
We have just returned from a very memorable 7 day walk (104kms is the most common used total distance) along the coast from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles. We stayed at a lodge (Both Feet) situated about half way along the route at Johanna Beach. Both Feet is described as an Eco Lodge , it is well appointed, with very comfortable rooms and a chef that cooks marvellous meals (there is a price involved of course). We were provided with packed morning tea and lunch, taken to the start of the walk around 8 am and picked up at the end point around 4 pm with walks not exceeding 21kms on any one day. We chose the self guided option, trails are well marked, mobile phone reception is ok in most parts, carrying an EPIRB as an emergency (never been used to date). The walks are not too difficult, mostly rated as moderate with sufficient time to enjoy the walk and surroundings.
The terrain is ever changing from the towering Mountain Ash, tea tree, heath, rain forests, beach walking (not too much as this can be very tiring), throw in the rugged coastline and southerly winds with doses of inclement rainy weather and it all makes for a great adventure.
We recorded 58 bird species along the way (posted in Eremaea Great Otway National Park site), with our experience both here and other parts of Australia confirming that you do not get many birds in rain forest zones. We would welcome any thoughts on this rather sweeping statement! We expected to see soaring raptors along the cliff faces but no luck. The special finds for us were the Blue-winged parrot, Beautiful Firetail, Olive Whistler, Bassian Thrush and the Hooded Plover (said to be a threatened species along this part of the coast). We were also hopeful that we may have found the Rufous Bristlebird but no luck.  Disadvantages from a “birder perspective” are that you cannot linger too long when you are walking 20km in undulating country so you take “pot luck” that a bird will pop out and sit in the clear area and say hello - of course the undergrowth is very heavy especially in the coastal heath which makes spotting and identification that much harder.
All in all a great week, one that we can now cross off our “buckets list”.
Ray and Sue Ellen
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