Victoria Trip, December 2012

212 birds, ~4400 km driven, 1 new nephew visited – all round a bloody good time. It was the annual end of year holiday, and holiday we did! The trip was essentially Sydney -> Melbourne -> Great Ocean Road -> Grampians -> Sydney.

Full photo set here. And I’ll add images to this shortly as well – they’re  currently uploading and I’m about to go and see some bands!

All the places that I recorded birds on the trip

Highlights are too many to go into, but I’ll have a crack ;)

  • Broad-billed Sandpiper at the Western Treatment Plant in the Western Lagoons section – another birder said he couldn’t find it the day before, but I managed to scope it and get good views, but was unable to relocate it when I got the camera out – it was in with more waders than you could shake a stick at, and I must say I was quite disappointed to not get shots. My only other BbS was at Cairns a few years ago, and that bird was too far away for photos, so yet again – it eludes my camera…
  • Budgies in the Riverina – I managed to see 2 birds at Wonga Wetlands (Albury), which is the first time I’ve seen them anywhere near the SW slopes in all my years of visiting those areas. There were other reports from them in the area (Yackandandah etc) so I’m confident it’s some sort of dispersal rather than escapees.
  • Western Treatment Plant – that place deserves a medal for awesome. I’m so glad I’ve got the key… I should really do the induction so I can get into the other areas. Birding highlights were Broad-billed Sandpiper (obviously), Grey Plover, breeding plumaged Curlew Sandpiper, Freckled Duck, loads of shorebirds that had my ever patient partner not complaining while I spent hours sorting through them, a great big bastard of a tiger snake, and seeing 77 species in 4.5ish hours of driving around.
Curlew Sandpiper - Werribee

Curlew Sandpiper – Werribee

  • Surprise birding spots – places that look good on the map that I’d not heard of before but decided to give them a shot – spots like Tower Hill Reserve near Warrnambool, Badgers Weir near Healesville, Ocean Grove NR near… Ocean Grove. Get out there – go to new spots, see new birds, or see the same birds you’ve seen before in new places.
  • The amount of water around Chiltern – I only got to Chiltern Dam #1, and managed 45 species in about 45 minutes, including Latham’s Snipe. When I first visited Chiltern back in 2006, I was able to walk around the dam in about 4 minutes – you can’t now as it’s totally full. The plus side is that there are ephemeral wetlands all around it, that were full of birds – Snipe, Night-herons, White-necked Herons, woodswallows, ducks, spoonbills, parrots, pelicans, finches, etc etc etc. Get amongst it – it’s great down there at the moment.
  • White-necked Herons – looking at the stats, I recorded 110 individuals at 24 locations. I usually average 5-10 WnH’s a year, so I’ve done well this trip. I saw loads up on the way to Bowra as well earlier in the year, so I guess they’ve had a few good years of breeding.
  • Mammals! I saw at least 10 species of mammal including Koalas in the Otways, Australian Fur-seal surfing in Port Phillip Bay, Brushtail and Ringtailed Possums at Dunkeld, kangaroos and wallabies all over the shop, Echidnas were quite common – and not much road kill.
Swamp Harrier at Tower Hill NR near Warrnambool

Swamp Harrier at Tower Hill NR near Warrnambool

If you want to see the big list of birds seen, click on the more button below.

Birds seen between 3/12/12 and 18/12/12

Black Swan
Australian Shelduck
Pink-eared Duck
Australian Wood Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Australasian Shoveler
Grey Teal
Chestnut Teal
Blue-billed Duck
Musk Duck
Short-tailed Shearwater
Australasian Grebe
Hoary-headed Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Royal Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Nankeen Night Heron
White-necked Heron
Eastern Great Egret
Intermediate Egret
White-faced Heron
Little Egret
Australian Pelican
Australasian Gannet
Little Pied Cormorant
Black-faced Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Australian Pied Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Australasian Darter
Black-shouldered Kite
Whistling Kite
Swamp Harrier
Spotted Harrier
Grey Goshawk
Brown Goshawk
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Little Eagle
Nankeen Kestrel
Australian Hobby
Brown Falcon
Black Falcon
Peregrine Falcon
Buff-banded Rail
Australian Spotted Crake
Spotless Crake
Purple Swamphen
Dusky Moorhen
Black-tailed Nativehen
Eurasian Coot
Pied Oystercatcher
Sooty Oystercatcher
Black-winged Stilt
Banded Stilt
Red-necked Avocet
Masked Lapwing
Red-kneed Dotterel
Pacific Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Red-capped Plover
Hooded Plover
Black-fronted Dotterel
Latham’s Snipe
Marsh Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Great Knot
Red Knot
Red-necked Stint
Pectoral Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Silver Gull
Pacific Gull
Kelp Gull
Caspian Tern
Crested Tern
Little Tern
Common Tern
Whiskered Tern
White-winged Tern
Rock Dove
Spotted Dove
Common Bronzewing
Brush Bronzewing
Crested Pigeon
Peaceful Dove
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
Gang-gang Cockatoo
Long-billed Corella
Little Corella
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Rainbow Lorikeet
Purple-crowned Lorikeet
Crimson Rosella
Yellow Rosella
Eastern Rosella
Red-rumped Parrot
Turquoise Parrot
Australian King Parrot
Eastern Koel
Pallid Cuckoo
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Mystery Cuckoo (either Horsfield’s Bronze or Black-eared – juvenile/imm bird either way)
Powerful Owl
Southern Boobook
Laughing Kookaburra
Sacred Kingfisher
Azure Kingfisher
Superb Lyrebird
Satin Bowerbird
White-throated Treecreeper
Red-browed Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper
Superb Fairywren
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Singing Honeyeater
White-eared Honeyeater
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
Fuscous Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater
Bell Miner
Noisy Miner
Yellow-throated Miner
Black-chinned Honeyeater
White-naped Honeyeater
Noisy Friarbird
Red Wattlebird
Crescent Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater
Eastern Spinebill
White-fronted Chat
Rufous Bristlebird
Spotted Pardalote
Striated Pardalote
Striated Fieldwren
Speckled Warbler
White-browed Scrubwren
Large-billed Scrubwren
Brown Gerygone
Western Gerygone
White-throated Gerygone
Brown Thornbill
Buff-rumped Thornbill
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill
Striated Thornbill
White-browed Babbler
Grey Butcherbird
Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong
Grey Currawong
White-breasted Woodswallow
White-browed Woodswallow
Dusky Woodswallow
Black-faced Cuckooshrike
White-bellied Cuckooshrike
White-winged Triller
Varied Sittella
Crested Shriketit
Olive Whistler
Australian Golden Whistler
Rufous Whistler
Grey Shrikethrush
Crested Bellbird
Olive-backed Oriole
Willie Wagtail
Grey Fantail
Restless Flycatcher
Forest Raven
Little Raven
Australian Raven
White-winged Chough
Eastern Yellow Robin
Hooded Robin
Jacky Winter
Rose Robin
Red-capped Robin
Eurasian Skylark
White-backed Swallow
Welcome Swallow
Fairy Martin
Tree Martin
Australian Reed Warbler
Rufous Songlark
Brown Songlark
Little Grassbird
Golden-headed Cisticola
Common Myna
Common Starling
Bassian Thrush
Common Blackbird
House Sparrow
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Diamond Firetail
Red-browed Finch
Australian Pipit
European Goldfinch