Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Swan Bay Jetty

Swan Bay has a number of great birding sites (I will add more as soon as I get to them again). One of my favourites is Swan Bay Jetty at the end of Swan Bay Rd (View Map). The sheltered bay has extensive mudflats and salt marshes and is surrounded by a range of habitats including coastal woodland and open pasture; even the jetty itself is a roosting site for many species of birds.

It was a windy and overcast day and not many birds on the shore or jetty but this "odd couple" caught my eye:

Caspian Tern and Little Egret, Swan Bay Jetty

Monday, 30 August 2010

Limeburners Lagoon Nature Reserve, Geelong

Limeburners Lagoon in Geelong Victoria (View Map) is not only good for waterbirds but several birds of prey species can often be seen (due in some part to the close proximity of the Corio landfill).

I stopped in the carpark at the end of Shell Road for a brief look. Not much around but this juvenile Black-shouldered Kite hovered just overhead and was seemingly oblivious of my presence

Black-shouldered Kite (juvenile), Limeburners Lagoon

...well, most of the time...

Black-shouldered Kite (juvenile), Limeburners Lagoon

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Bells Beach

Better known for its surf, Bells Beach and the surrounding area offers some good birding along the foreshore and the roadside vegetation.

I had stopped by the side of the road near the bend where Bells Beach Road becomes Jarosite Road (View Map) to watch a mixed flock of honeyeaters flying back and forth between the coastal heath and a stand of eucalypts when a Rufous Bristlebird appeared immediately across the road from me.

Rufous Bristlebird, Bells Beach

I have seen Rufous Bristlebird regularly in the area (Pt Addis and Airey's Inlet) but never when I had the camera ready so this was another photographic first for me this August.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Truganina Park, Altona

On the site of the former Altona Landfill Tip, Truganina Park is being rehabilitated as a recreation area. Of particular interest to birders are the small wetlands on the northern edge that have been created by restructuring a storm-water drain.

Access is from Andrew Park Drive (off Queen St) through HD Graham Reserve (View Map).

Driving home from Melbourne this evening I dropped past to see if there was any activity just before sunset. A walk along the edge of the wetland looked promising until a rain storm had me scurrying back to the car but not before snapping a few shots of this Purple Swamphen.

Purple Swamphen, Truganina Wetlands

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

You Yangs Regional Park

The You Yangs Regional Park (just north of Lara and west of Little River) is a great location for bush birds.

What started as a sunny day turned windy, cloudy and drizzling rain just after I arrived so many of the birds were difficult to see and impossible to photograph. However, this Laughing Kookaburra was very cooperative during a brief break in the rain.

Laughing Kookaburra, You Yangs

Balyang Sanctuary, Geelong

Balyang Sanctuary runs along the northern bank of the Barwon River in Geelong between the Shannon St and Princes Hwy bridges. It contains a wide variety of birds from wetland to open woodland species. Access is via Marnock Road, Newtown. View Map

Australasian Grebe have started nesting

Australasian Grebe, Balyang Sanctuary, Geelong

and this is the first time I have seen Long-billed Corella at this site (only one)

Long-billed Corella, Balyang Sanctuary, Geelong

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Western Treatment Plant

The Western Treatment Plant, formerly known as Werribee Sewerage Farm, is a favourite location for many birders (View Map). A permit is required for access but it's well worth the effort in obtaining one and visiting frequently.

Today was the first time my wife had accompanied me there on a detour while travelling home from Melbourne and she's now my lucky charm. We were doing a general drive through a range of areas when we were flagged down by some other birders at the Conservation Ponds. They had spotted an Australasian Bittern and offered to help us find it again. Five minutes later...

Australasian Bittern, Western Treatment Plant

My first time photographing this elusive species and a great way to start this project.
Thanks John and Fred :-)

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