Monday, 30 January 2017

Fairy Dell

 Fairy Dell

Fairy Dell in one of the most well known birding hotspots in the Bairnsdale area.  Located approximately 30 minutes from Bairnsdale, it is easily accessible by most vehicles. There is a picnic ground with toilet facilities.

To get to Fairy Dell, drive towards Bruthen from Bairnsdale, at Wiseleigh, ( about 3 Km before Bruthen), there will be a sign that will direct you towards Fairy Dell, along the Deep Creek Rd. The route is well sign posted from here.

Rose Robin

Juvenile White-Naped Honeyeater
Spotted Pardalote

There are two walks at Fairy Dell that connect with each other half way along.  The first track takes you along the ridge, which is a much drier environment.   Birds such as White Throated Tree Creeper, Spotted Pardalote, Common Bronzewing and Wonga Pigeon are common along along this track. The second walk runs through lush wet habitat, where Rose Robin, Rufous Fantail, Black Faced Monarch, Brown Gerygone, and Lyrebird can be seen. The best tactic to use is to walk 15 or 20 metres, and then stop and listen for 5 minutes or so. Eastern Whipbirds are often quite inquisitive, and will come up close for a look.

The ebird Hotspot can be seen here.

The walking track in Fairy Dell- Google Maps
Some unusual sightings include Pink Robin, Speckled Warbler, White Bellied Cuckoo Shrike, Beautiful Firetail have been seen at Fairy Dell.  Powerful and Sooty Owl have also been seen here occasionally, so keep an eye out for roosting birds.

Fairy Dell walking track

The bridge over the creek
Fairy Dell is probably one of the best places to go birding in the western part of East Gippsland. The range of birds is very similar to Cabbage Tree Flora Reserve, but the easy access and closeness to Bairnsdale makes Fairy Dell a must visit birding stop.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Macleod Morass

Macleod Morass

Macleod Morass is a 520 hectare freshwater marsh, located just south of Bairnsdale. The morass abounds with wildlife, particularly water birds. Macleod Morass is an internationally recognized Ramsar site.

To get to Macleod Morass, drive down Forge Creek Rd, and turn left onto Bosworth Rd at the roundabout near Vegco. drive down a steep hill, and the morass is on your right. The bridge over the creek is currently closed, so there is no access from the other side. There is a large car park area, so parking is never any problem. It should be noted that Macleod Morass is a game reserve, so be aware of whats going on around you during duck season. 


Royal Spoonbill

There are two bird hides at Macleod Morass. One is on a board walk on the left of the main track that runs through the morass. The second hide is at the end of a 420 metre board walk that runs out towards the centre of the morass.
Macleod Morass

Birds that can be seen at Macleod Morass are: Spoonbills, ibis, Swamp Harrier, Australasian Swamphen, a variety of duck species, cormorants, Darter and Little Grass Bird. A complete list can be seen here.

The main track going though the morass

Black swans

The start of one of the walks

Monday, 9 January 2017

Cape Conran Coastal Park

Some birds of Cape Conran Coastal Park

Cape Conran Coastal Park is a 11,700-hectare national park situated between Marlo and Bemm River. Over 250 bird species have been sighted in the park, including species such as Eastern Ground Parrot, Topknot Pigeon, White Headed Pigeon and Southern Emu Wren.  This post will look at some of the best sites in Cape Conran Coastal Park. 

Cape Conran Boat Ramp.

Google Maps
The Cape Conran boat ramp is located on the western side of Cape Conran on the West Cape Rd. Pacific Gull, Silver Gull, Sooty Oystercatcher, Australasian Gannet and Bassian Thrush are often seen here.  Look for Bassian Thrush and Eastern Whipbird in the scrub behind the boat ramp, and keep and eye out for Sea Eagles passing overhead.

Silver Gulls at Cape Conran

Cape Conran

Yeerung River. 

Google maps
The Yeerung River Estuary View Walk is a heathland and coastal scrub walk. The walk is on the right side of the road just as you cross the bridge on the Yeerung River.  The Ground Parrot has been flushed from here, and Southern Emu Wrens are common. Other bird that can be seen here are: Beautiful Firetail, Rainbow Lorikeet, Azure Kingfisher in the Yeerung River and many types of honeyeaters.
Yeerung River looking downstream


Looking towards the ocean over the heath

Old Coast Road

The Old Coast Rd has potential for Brush Bronzewing, Southern Emu Wren, Sacred Kingfisher, (in Summer) and Turquoise Parrot. Look for Southern Emu Wren in the heathland adjacent to the road, and pay attention for their high pitched calls. Since the Old Coast Road is quite long, a good method for birding there is to drive slowly down the road, stopping at any spot that looks to have potential for birds, such as a creek or heathland. 
Old Coast Rd
Old Coast Rd
Brush Bronzewing

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Nowa Nowa Birding

Nowa Nowa Birding

Nowa Nowa is a small town about 20 Km north-east of Lakes Entrance and is on the main road between Orbost and Lakes Entrance. It has a population of approximately 140 * , with a general store/Post Office and a few caravan parks. The East Gippsland Rail Trail runs through Nowa Nowa, where it crosses Boggy Creek. 

Nowa Nowa is an excellent location for birding. There is a wide range of habitat, from the drier more open forest to the swampy areas around  the boat ramp.  Approximately 120 bird species have been seen in the Nowa Nowa area.

Boggy Creek Gorge

Boggy Creek Gorge is a large gorge upstream of the Nowa Nowa bridge. There is a walking track and lookout overlooking the gorge. The walking track and lookout are accessible from the Bruthen-Buchan Road. Turn into the car park opposite the saw mill. About 30 bird species have been seen there so far, but there is a lot of potential for more species.
Boggy Creek Gorge

Nowa Nowa Township

Nowa Nowa itself is a great spot for birds. Masked Lapwings are a resident beside the highway, as  is a large family of Wood Ducks. Welcome Swallows, wattlebirds, Magpies and Kookaburras are abundant, while White Throated Needle Tail can be seen during the summer months.

Nowa Nowa Wetland Walk

The Nowa Nowa wetland walk is an excellent spot for birds. Black Fronted Dotteral, Azure Kingfisher and  many honeyeaters and cormorants live in the wetlands bordering Boggy Creek. You can access the walk by driving down Launching Rd, to the boat ramp. The walk follows Boggy Creek downstream, and is well sign posted.

Nowa Nowa Walk

Reed Warbler, seen near the Nowa Nowa boat ramp

Female Rufous Whistler, Nowa Nowa Walk

Nowa Nowa is indeed a great birding location. It should be quite easy to see forty species within a couple of hours, and with such a central location, Nowa Nowa is a must visit for a birder.