Trip Report Mallacoota Vic. & NSW Far South Coast

To: "Janene Luff" <>, <>
Subject: Trip Report Mallacoota Vic. & NSW Far South Coast
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 12:56:39 +1100
Hi Birders,

To most birdwatchers, the words "Gipsy Point Lodge, Mallacoota" conjure up
thoughts of great birding, especially seeing Glossy Black Cockatoos, good
food and accommodation at the Lodge, and great experiences in the beautiful
natural environments of Mallacoota Inlet and the Genoa River. To the
participants of the Follow That Bird Tour to Gipsy Point Lodge, 18-23
October 2004, these were our experiences too although those pesky Glossies
did not show this time! Our trip commenced during a period of very wet
weather in Sydney which gradually extended south into Victoria bring good
falls of rain to the far South Coast and Southern Tablelands of NSW and NE
Victoria, something that was badly need everywhere in those localities! We
all had a great time despite the rain, even managing two days without any
rain but eventually if caught up with us!

The first night we stayed at Batman's Bay where we finally got ahead of the
rain, and so in leafy Surf Beach, we had good views of 3 White-headed
Pigeons roosting on a telegraph pole amongst the houses and a pair of Sooty
Oystercatchers on the rocks. At our Motel, on the eastern side of the Clyde
River Bridge, we found nesting Hobbies and White-faced Herons in two
adjoining trees, the male Hobby bringing food to the female every 10-15
minutes who came off the nest to receive the food each time making a great
racket! Pied Oystercatchers and Royal Spoonbills could be seen from the
bridge. Next morning we stopped for a while at Narooma and at the high tide
wader roost we counted 210 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Eastern Curlews, 2 Red
Knots and 6 Pied Oystercatchers. Continuing south we stopped for
Wedge-tailed Eagles at Waldrons Swamp & Brogo Hall and a White-necked Heron
at Trunkettabella wetlands.We called in to the Bega Dairy Factory wetlands
and located 5 Pink-eared Ducks, and while lunching at the Eden Wharf, 3
immature Pacific Gulls were seen. Two hours were spent at Greencape Light
House, in Ben Boyd NP and we were thrilled to see Hump-backed Whales
breaching right close to the point, about 30 Australia  Fur Seals, numerous
Australasian Gannets, a few Caspian Terns, at least 2 Shy Albatrosses,
Short-tailed and Fluttering Shearwaters and a Sparrowhawk. We also watched
in disbelief as three Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos flew out to sea and kept
going. We did not see them return to the coast while we were there!. (Any
reports from New Zealand?)

We arrived at Gipsy Point at dusk, and next morning, and for the following
two mornings, enjoyed early morning bird walks around the Point. Ofcourse,
you had to push past the King Parrots, Crimson Rosellas and Rainbow
Lorikeets, waiting to be fed as you walked off around the Lodge but you did
not have to go far before catching up with Satin Bowerbirds, Rufous & Golden
Whistlers, Wonga Pigeons, Whipbirds, Rose & Yellow Robins, Rufous & Grey
Fantails, Musk Lorikeets, Fantailed & Shining Bronze-Cuckoos and the like!
One morning Ian,  our host, led us on a boat trip up the Genoa River where
we were able to see the nesting Sea-Eagles, Whistling Kites, Azure
Kingfishers, Darter, Sacred Kingfisher, Night Heron & Lyrebirds etc not to
mention some Gippsland water Dragons with their prominent black-banded
tails. .

In Mallacoota, the shallow waters at Captains Point, near the outlet, proved
to be a good place to see Black-winged Stilts, Bar-tailed Godwits & more Red
Knots, and on the inside edge of the main beach, really a sand spit, we had
Hooded Plovers, nesting Red-capped Plovers, Ruddy Turnstone, Caspian Tern,
many Pied Oystercatchers, Pacific Gull, Little Egrets and the usual
waterbirds. In the parks and street trees of Mallacoota itself there were
plenty of birds to see including New Holland, Scarlet & White-naped
Honeyeaters feeding young. At Double-Creek Nature Trail we found
Large-billed Scrub-wrens, Black-faced Monarch, Brown Gerygone, Olive-backed
Orioles and Leaden Flycatchers. At the edge of the Mallacoota airport in
some low heath, some of us were fortunate to see a Ground Parrot, Pipit and
Tree Martin, while on the STW were Hoary-headed & Little Grebes, Hardhead
and Grey Teal with ducklings. A trip out to Wangarabella, the west and
upstream of Genoa, enabled us to see White-winged Choughs, Jacky Winter,
White-eared Honeyeaters, Brush Bronzewing, nesting Whistling Kite, Swamp
Harrier and Dusky Woodswallows. The food and the convivial entertainment
round the table each night at Gipsy Point Lodge was most enjoyable.

Finally on a wet morning we farewelled our hosts Ian & Jenny, and headed for
Wingen Inlet, further to the south on the coast. Despite the wet morning, at
the entrance to Wingen Inlet we had good views of Black-faced Cormorants,
more Hooded Plovers, Pied Oystercatchers, Stilts and Godwits the usual bush
birds including a male Rose Robin. We returned to Sydney via the Snowy
Highway and stopped off at the Platypus Reserve, 3 km out of Bombala. Here a
new viewing platform has been constructed over-looking the backed up waters
of the Bombala River, and everyone had close up views of at least two
Platypus, while the bird watching was good to with Southern White-faced,
Goldlfinches, Clamorous Reedwarblers & yellow-faced & White-eared
Honeyeaters being encountered. Our final night was at Cooma and aourt final
prolonged stop was at the Canberra Botanical Gardens where we were able to
add Crescent Honeyeater & Gang gangs to our list and another Sparrowhawk was

During the six days we saw 146 species of birds and close encounters with
many of them, ensuring a good birding week for all.

Alan Morris

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