|Bermagui (NSW South Coast) - 18-19 Feb
|Mon, 20 Feb 2006 09:55:59 +1100
We spent this weekend in Bermagui which gave me the opportunity to explore the area. Long Swamp is drying up again with little water left and hardly any birdlife, while Bermagui Lagoon is full of water. On Saturday along the Bermagui River Conservation Area I found a Striated Heron, an Osprey, a pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagles and a Whistling Kite. The Sea-Eagles were perched 100 metres from the Osprey providing an opportunity to compare the 2 species closely. In Bermgui Harbour there were 2 Eastern Curlew and some 70 Bar-tailed Godwits. With the cooler weather the massive Smooth Stingrays seemed to have vacated the harbour and estuary leaving the much smaller, but still dangerous, Brown Stingarees (5 counted in one area). My dad stepped on one while wading Bithry Inlet in Mimosa Rocks NP this week leaving a bleeding wound, although the pain had subsided after an hour or so.
Barragoot Lake contained well over 500 Black Swans, surely the largest congregation along this section of coastline, while Wallaga Lake came close with over 300. There was also a single egret with nuptial plumes present (most likely Little, possibly Intermediate) among the Pied Oystercatchers and Royal Spoonbills in the distance.
On Sunday we walked a beautiful stretch of beach from Goalen Head to Bunga Head (newly declared section of Mimosa Rocks NP) under an overcast sky. No less than 6 Sea-Eagles present, 2 mature birds perched high up the cliffs at Bunga. Nearby were 6 Sooty Oystercatchers and a dark morph Eastern Reef Egret (There was also a single bird present at Cuttagee Lake). A pair of Jacky Winters kept us company in the car park.
Late on Sunday at Bingie we had great views of an adult Spotted Harrier in the low vegetation behind Bingie Beach (Eurobodalla NP). The Eurobodalla NHS annual report states this species is a rare vagrant. On the drive home we stopped at Cabbage Tree Creek, this spot is literally metres from the the noise and traffic of the Kings Highway and yet we saw Black-faced Monarchs, a pair of Large-billed Scrubwrens up super close in a clearing and nearby Brown Gerygones and Pilotbirds were calling.
All up we saw 9 species of raptor over the weekend. Surely Bermagui is as far south as Ospreys are seen these days?
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