In late November, we spent a few days holidaying around Port Campbell and
Warrnambool. Nearby Killarney Beach is listed by Tim Dolby and Rohan Clarke
in "Finding Australian Birds" as a reliable site for Sanderling, so I
decided to check it out after a visit to Tower Hill.
My expectation was that Killarney would be a remote windswept and
unpopulated beach, hopefully with Sanderlings running along the shoreline.
It didn't quite turn out that way. On a sunny Sunday afternoon at the beach,
there were about 30 people, three large dogs, and signs of a very recent
visit by horses. No Sanderlings. However, I did notice some possible terns
near the rocky point about 1 km to the east, so drove round to there and
headed east around the headland. Only one or two people.
The first encouraging sign was the presence of old tape at the back of the
beach put up to protect hooded plover nests, but no plovers. A couple of
minutes later, I spotted three Sanderlings foraging along the waterline -
got great close views. A short distance away, a Hooded Plover ran into
view. All's well that ends well.
We had one birding highlight at Port Campbell, with a brief view of a Rufous
Bristlebird on a track through heath at the Bay of Martyrs.
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