Saturday, 17 August 2013

A day at Phillip Island - Part 3 Rhyll

After stops at Fisher's Wetland and The Nobbies and Swan Lake, we headed for Rhyll on the NE 'corner' of Phillip Island (see map). Rhyll is a great place for birding. At low tide in spring and summer thousands of birds (wading birds, ibis, herons) feed on the mudflats at 'The Nits' (in the entrance to Rhyll Inlet) and in Swan Bay. The sandier shore along Beach Road between the sailing club and the boat ramp often provides good views of gulls, terns, cormorants, pelicans, herons and oystercatchers.

We got there today on a rising tide so decided not to walk around to The Nits but were treated to some great views of oystercatchers.

Australian Pied Oystercatcher, Rhyll, Phillip Island

A small flock (I can't bring myself to use 'dread', the generally accepted collective noun for terns) of Crested Terns sat preening on the sandy shore near the boat ramp. There were various stages of advancement towards breeding plumage on show and all displayed their characteristic crest. Interestingly, most were banded.

Crested Tern, Rhyll, Phillip Island

Conservation Hill overlooks Rhyll Inlet and is often a good place for birding with a variety of habitats: coastal woodland, farmland, swamp, mudflats and mangroves all close by. We got there in the late afternoon and there was not much bird activity (probably due to the cold and windy weather) but it did provide the opportunity to see several Black Wallabies.

Black Wallaby, Conservation Hill, Rhyll, Phillip Island

Part 1 Fisher's Wetland
Part 2 The Nobbies and Swan Lake

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