French Island trip (Vic.)

Subject: French Island trip (Vic.)
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 14:48:26 +1000

From: Martin  on 15/05/2001 02:48 PM

Subject:  French Island trip (Vic.)

Some bird news for a trip to French Island in Victoria's Western Port Bay last
weekend (12 May 01).

This was the monthly trip by Friends of French Island (FOFI), mainly with the
aim of removing some woody weeds (Pinus radiata) and boxthorn (Lycium
ferocissimum) (amongst others!).  Our location was Tortoise Head which is at the
extreme south-west corner of the island and was once commonwealth land.
Tortoise Head is really only accessible on foot and this meant we were able to
record birds along the way.

Highlights were:
- White-faced Heron - 200+ individuals in Tortoise Head marsh (the highest no. I
have ever observed on a single wetland)
- Red-necked Stints and Red-capped Plover (still a few about)
- Welcome Swallow (100s) flashing past our heads as we disturbed insects from
the mangroves.
- a dolphin swimming past the ferry bow as we crossed to the island
- Shark and ray egg cases on the beach
- Cutting down 'weedy big timber' with like-minded people and seeing your work
at the end of the day!

'Lowlights' - the never ending supply of fisherman-related rubbish and beach
jetsam (eg. a plastic shark, fully inflated) that is blown across from the
mainland and fishing boats.

All this is quite easily done as a day trip from suburban Melbourne using trains
and the ferry from Stony Point.  And, as FOFI members we get 'free' ferry trips
via Parks Victoria funds.

Martin O'Brien
Executive Scientific Officer - Scientific Advisory Committee
Parks Flora and Fauna Division
Department of Natural Resources and Environment
4/250 Victoria Pde.,
East Melbourne  3002

Tel: 9412 4567
Fax: 9412 4586
(prefixes: Interstate 03 International 613)
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