Birding at Coolart

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Subject: Birding at Coolart
From: "Val Ford" <>
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2001 17:20:26 -0800
    Last Wednesday [14/11] a late but necessary change of venue[the 4 guards on the gate at HMAS Cerberus wouldn't let us in!] enabled Penboc branch of BOCA members to bird at Coolart.   Coolart, a blend of  wetlands and woodlands is a National Park Property at Somers, on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne, Vic. 
    The bush bird highlights were Sacred Kingfisher, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, Mistletoebird, Grey Currawong and Brown Goshawk.  Honeyeaters seen were Red and Little Wattlebirds, Yellow-faced, White-eared, White-plumed, Brown-headed, White-naped and New Holland Honeyeaters.
    From the bridge over Merricks Creek Darter, Royal Spoonbill, White-faced Heron, Chestnut Teal, European Goldfinch and a Black-shouldered Kite were seen enjoying the sunshine along with Superb Fairy-wrens in magnificent breeding plumage.
    The lagoon, which had been dry for 3 years is now full of water and the birds have returned.  Australian White Ibis are breeding there again.  Also observed from the bird hide were Pied and Little Pied Cormorants , Blue-billed and Pink-eared Ducks, Hardhead,  Grey and ChestnutTeal, Black Swan, Australasian and Hoary-headed Grebes, Purple Swamphens, Dusky Moorhen and Eurasian Coot with their brightly coloured young.   The Swamp Harrier was patrolling as per usual.
    Despite the late start we managed 64 species for the outing without seeing the Rufous Fantail that the ranger had told us was around the Visitors Centre.
Val Ford
Sorrento, Vic. 
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