Sunday, 13 February 2011

Forest and Beach at Cape Otway

Spent the afternoon at Cape Otway, specifically around Blanket Bay (View Map). Access is from Cape Otway Lighthouse Road, which runs south from The Great Ocean Road approx. 20 km west of Apollo Bay. Turn left onto Blanket Bay Road and follow the signs to Blanket Bay Camping Ground.

First stop was on Blanket Bay Road where it re-enters the Great Otway National Park

at a bridge over a small creek running through wet sclerophyll forest

Within 15 minutes here, I had seen: Silvereye, White-throated Treecreeper, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Laughing Kookaburra, Pied Currawong, Eastern Yellow Robin, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Crimson Rosella, Bassian Thrush, Red-browed Finch, Grey Fantail. In tall forest, the birds are mostly too far away to photograph successfully but the ubiquitous Superb Fairy-wren is usually closeby roadsides and walking tracks.

Superb Fairy-wren (male), Blanket Bay Road, Cape Otway

Superb Fairy-wren (female), Blanket Bay Road, Cape Otway

I also heard White-browed Scrubwren among the bracken along the creek and Pallid Cuckoo and Australian King Parrot high in the treetops but it took another 20 minutes to find them. They stayed a long way from me (so photographs are heavily cropped).

White-browed Scrubwren, Blanket Bay Road, Cape Otway

Pallid Cuckoo, Blanket Bay Road, Cape Otway

Australian King Parrot (male and female), Blanket Bay Road, Cape Otway

I continued on to Blanket Bay

Blanket Bay, Cape Otway

where there was very little bird life on the beach - only a few Silver Gulls. There were, however, many Crested Terns and Great Cormorants on the small rock islands a few hundred metres offshore.

Welcome Swallows were roosting on sign posts at the western end of the beach and juveniles allowed a close approach.

Welcome Swallow (juvenile), Blanket Bay, Cape Otway

On the way back along Cape Otway Lighthouse Road, I stopped to photograph several koalas in trees along the roadside. No, they're not birds but who can resist? Lots of males calling even in broad daylight.

Koala, Cape Otway

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