French Island (Vic) Report

To: <>
Subject: French Island (Vic) Report
From: "Tim Dolby" <>
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 18:12:17 +1000
French Island
24-25th March 2007

Weather: Saturday strong SW wind, clearing, occasionally heavy, showers. Sunday 
Morning pleasant, sunny breaks, low 20s with moderate SW wind.

Present: Stuart Dashper, Chris and Rosemary Lester, Scott Chandry and Helen 
Mitchell, Tim Dolby and Fiona Parkin.

King Quail survey technique: Formed a single line with individuals approx. 2-3 
metres apart and then walked through heath. Occasionally stopped and used 
playback of call.

Saturday 10.30 am arrive at corner of Clump and Link rds. Walk east along Link 
rd. until the first north-south firebreak walked south then turned east along a 
firebreak that runs parallel to Link rd that approx. four year old regrowth on 
the northern side. Walked along this firebreak for about a kilometre then 
walked south along a firebreak with four-five year regrowth to the east. Then 
completed the square back to the EW firebreak by walking along the south and 
eastern firebreaks of this block. After this walked to Mt Wellington track 
where we were picked up at 2.30 pm.

At 4 pm walked from the Tortoise Head Guesthouse to Tortoise Head high tide 
roost, arriving at ~5.00 pm, high tide was a little after 6 pm although water 
level was very high when we arrived with many waders roosting. After 30 min 
returned to the Guesthouse arriving at 6.30 pm. Picked up Seal skull on the 

Sunday 8.30 am arrived at end of Mt Wellington rd. Walked to eastern end of 
heath on Link rd. walked the full length of the EW firebreak, with detours down 
southern firebreaks. At 11.30 am walked south along Clump rd stopping at Clump 
Lagoon, which was dry. Picked up at 12.30 near the Pinnacles.

Habitat notes: Even after considerable rain on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th 
the low lying heathy areas that we surveyed were very dry. The heath was mainly 
1 m in height and varied in composition and density dependent largely on the 
aspect of the ground, lower lying areas being more dense. Clump Lagoon was 
completely dry.

Result: No King Quails were observed. A single snake, possibly a Red-bellied 
Black Snake was seen. In general bird activity was low especially on Saturday. 
The absence of Superb Fairy-wren in this clearly suitable habitat is intriguing.

Annotated Bird List.

Australian Pelican      Pelecanus conspicillatus        Common
Australasian Gannet     Morus serrator  Two off Tortoise Head
Little Pied Cormorant   Phalacrocorax melanoleucos
Great Egret             Ardea alba      Single off Tortoise Head
White-faced Heron       Egretta novaehollandiae Common around Tankerton
Australian White Ibis   Threskiornis molucca    Common, widespread
Royal Spoonbill         Platalea regia  20-30 around Tankerton
Black Swan              Cygnus atratus          Abundant
Cape Barren Goose       Cereopsis novaehollandiae       4-5 in field near 
General Store
Australian Shelduck     Tadorna tadornoides     Common
Australian Wood Duck    Chenonetta jubata
Chestnut Teal           Anas castanea           
Black-shouldered Kite   Elanus axillaris
Whistling Kite          Haliastur sphenurus
White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster  Single off Tortoise Head
Swamp Harrier           Circus approximans      Single in heath north of Link 
Collared Sparrowhawk    Accipiter cirrhocephalus        Single near south end 
of Coast rd.      
Wedge-tailed Eagle      Aquila audax    Two  around Tortoise Head
Brown Falcon            Falco berigora
Pied Oystercatcher      Haematopus longirostris 20 at Tortoise Head - high tide
Masked Lapwing          Vanellus miles  Abundant, widespread    
Eastern Curlew          Numenius madagascariensis       30+ Tortoise Head - 
high tide   
Red-capped Plover       Charadrius ruficapillus few at Tortoise Head - high tide
Double-banded Plover    Charadrius bicinctus    few at Tortoise Head - high tide
Ruddy Turnstone         Arenaria interpres      10+ at Tortoise Head - high tide
Red-necked Stint        Calidris ruficollis     common Tortoise Head
Curlew Sandpiper        Calidris ferruginea     15-20 Tortoise Head - high tide
Arctic Jaeger           Stercorarius parasiticus        Single from ferry
Pacific Gull            Larus pacificus
Silver Gull             Larus novaehollandiae
Caspian Tern            Sterna caspia   3 Tortoise Head - high tide
Crested Tern            Sterna bergii   10+ Tortoise Heads - high tide  
Spotted Turtle-Dove     Streptopelia chinensis
Common Bronzewing       Phaps chalcoptera
Brush Bronzewing        Phaps elegans   Single Link rd  
Galah                   Cacatua roseicapilla    Single flock near General Store
Eastern Rosella         Platycercus eximius     Common
Blue-winged Parrot      Neophema chrysostoma    Few widespread
Fan-tailed Cuckoo       Cacomantis flabelliformis       Single Clump Swamp      
Welcome Swallow         Hirundo neoxena Abundant
Tree Martin             Hirundo nigricans       Few at Clump Swamp      
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike       oracina novaehollandiae Widespread
Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis        Few in heath around Link rd
Willie Wagtail          Rhipidura leucophrys    Widespread
Grey Fantail            Rhipidura fuliginosa    Few near Mt Wellington
Eastern Yellow Robin    Eopsaltria australis    Single near Mt Wellington
Golden Whistler         Pachycephala pectoralis Few around Mt Wellington
Grey Shrike-thrush      Colluricincla harmonica
White-browed Scrubwren  ericornis frontalis
Brown Thornbill         Acanthiza pusilla
Yellow-rumped Thornbill Acanthiza chrysorrhoa
Striated Thornbill      Acanthiza lineata
Varied Sittella         Daphoenositta chrysoptera       Single flock near Mt 
Mistletoebird           Dicaeum hirundinaceum   5+ around Mt Wellington
Spotted Pardalote       Pardalotus punctatus
Striated Pardalote      Pardalotus striatus
Silvereye               Zosterops lateralis
White-eared Honeyeater  Lichenostomus leucotis  
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater Phylidonyris melanops  Common in hth along Link rd     
Noisy Miner             Manorina melanocephala  Few near General Store
Red Wattlebird          Anthochaera carunculata
New Holland Honeyeater  Phylidonyris novaehollandiae    Abundant in hth along 
Link rd
Magpie-lark             Grallina cyanoleuca             
Dusky Woodswallow       Artamus cyanopterus     Two at farm dam near Mt 
Grey Butcherbird        Cracticus torquatus     Widespread      
Australian Magpie       Gymnorhina tibicen      Common, widespread      
Grey Currawong          Strepera versicolor     Common, widespread
Australian Raven        Corvus coronoides
Little Raven            Corvus mellori
Common Starling         Sturnus vulgaris
European Greenfinch     Carduelis chloris
European Goldfinch      Carduelis carduelis

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