Mallacoota Easter Trip

Subject: Mallacoota Easter Trip
From: "Chris Lester"<>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 14:24:10 +1000
Thanks to the people who sent me info on Mallacoota and environs just
before Easter.  For those who are interested, the highlights are below.
Further details can be provided on request.

I concentrated around Mallacoota and Genoa.  Mallacoota Inlet still had
some waders, the best being Eastern Curlew (1), Bar-tailed Godwit (20),
Whimbrel (2), Red-capped Plover (30), Hooded Plover (4) and Double-banded
Plover (30).  There were good numbers of Back Swans, Black Ducks and
Chestnut Teal, Royal Spoonbills, etc. and three species of egrets, Great,
Little and Cattle.

A boat trip out of Gypsy Point had Azure Kingfishers (4) and Grey Goshawk
(1), but no Black Bitterns that had been seen there earlier this year.

At the Double Creek Nature Walk, I saw Satin Bowerbirds, Brown Gerygones,
Red-browed Treecreepers and many other birds.  The drive between Mallacoota
and Genoa had Wonga Pigeon and Spotted Quail-Thrush on the side of the road
at different times.

I spent part of two days at Howe Flat, on the eastern side of the inlet.
It is accessible by boat or 4WD.  It is usually a wetland but is currently
dry.  I saw one Ground Parrot and lots of Southern Emu-Wrens there.  There
were lots of lorikeets here as well, Rainbow, Musk and Little.  I tried
hard for Masked Owls here, but only found Boobooks and Owlet Nightjars.
The Eastern Bristlebirds I had seen there three years ago were not to be
found.  The Wallagaraugh Rainforest Walk on the Forest Drive just into NSW
is worth a visit.

At Shipwreck Creek, I was hoping to catch up with something like an Eastern
Reef Egret or Beach Stone-Curlew, but only saw nice, ordinary birds, like
Beautiful Firetail and Bassian Thrush.

I looked fairly hard around Genoa in the Casurina areas for Glossy
Black-Cockatoos on several occasions, but only found one on the Genoa Peak

There were lots of honeyeaters (11 species) and parrots (incl. King Parrot,
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo) in most places, as well as a surprising
number of raptors (Wedge-tailed Eagles and White-bellied Sea-Eagles, Brown
Goshaks, Whistling Kites, etc).  In fact, it was very birdy in most places.
However, the summer migrants had mostly left - no cuckoos, Black-faced
Monarchs, Scarlet Honeyeaters, etc.  I saw just over 130 species in the 5
days I was there.  It was very dry (most of the wetlands weren't) and I
presume that has had an impact on the numbers of some of the rarer birds I
was trying to find.

 We camped in the Mallacoota camping ground.  It sounds horrific but it was
actually very pleasant and convenient, especially for my
not-particularly-keen-birding family.  We arrived late on Easter Monday and
many people had just left.  a whole heap more left on Tuesday, so the
non-powered site area was pretty empty after that.  Good views of the
entrance, conveniences and hardly any people or noise.  We all enjoyed it.

I had hoped that the Black-backed Wagtail, that I didn't see in Newcastle,
had relocated to Mallacoota, but, if it was there, I couldn't find it.


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