the things we see . . .

To: "" <>
Subject: the things we see . . .
From: "Mules, Michael" <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 12:00:55 +1000

Hi all,

Over the past 2 months, I've been spending most weekends as a lifesaver at Cape Paterson Surf Beach  ( 8km south of Wonthaggi, about 40 minutes east of Phillip Island, Victoria).  It's been a fairly busy time, but not too many rescues or injuries - so far.  It has also provided many opportunities for ad-hoc birdwatching.

One of the highlights of January has been on several mornings where literally hundreds of thousands of Shearwaters stream past the Cape, sometimes stopping to feed offshore.  Unfortunately the club's 7x40 binos aren't capable of identifying beyond 'Shearwater', but it is still a spectacular sight.  The stream lasted for over three hours on one occasion.

Another highlight was a Black-faced Cormorant swimming with Nippers during a carnival.  I was in the boat doing watersafety at the time, and it swam within about 4 metres of the boat, and in and out of the nippers, totally unconcerned.  This is a first for me at the Cape, we normally only see them about 80 km to the south, around Walkerville. 

After a storm one afternoon, we had 4 Hooded Dotterel on the beach, and Crested Terns, Gannets, White-faced Herons, Sooty Oystercatchers and Little Black Cormorants are all common.  We have also had Black Swans fly over occasionally.  Then there are the peregrines that nest along the cliffs of the Bunurong Marine Reserve (I've only seen them once this season, but I haven't been looking much), and the Silver and Pacific Gulls that do their usual impressive job of impersonating as many different species as possible.

It's amazing what you can see, even when you aren't looking.

Cheers, Michael.

Michael Mules
Curator, Science Program
108 Lonsdale St. Melbourne

PO. Box 666E
Melbourne   VIC   3001

Ph: 9291 2119
Fax: 9291 2139

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