Thursday, 9 March 2017

Gippsland Lakes Discovery Trail

Gippsland Lakes Discovery Trail

The Gippsland Lakes Discovery Trail runs along the path of an old tramway through Colquhoun State Forest.  The trail starts where Seaton Track and the Gippsland Rail Trail intersect. It then runs toward the old quarry, and then on to Lakes Entrance. 

The Gippsland Lakes Discovery Trail has lots of potential for birds. It runs through both wet dense gullies, and dry open forest. Birds such as Yellow-Tufted Honeyeater, Rose Robin, Spotted Quail Thrush and Brown Goshawk can all be readily seen on the Discovery Trail. 

Male Spotted Pardalote

Sign at the beginning of the trail
You can access the Discovery Trail from many points. The first one is where Seaton Track intersects the East Gippsland Rail Trail. Other spots are from Ford Track, Quarry Road, Sloan Track, Frank Track, Oil Bore Road, Uncle Road ( Log Crossing), Armstrong Track, and Scriveners Road.

The Trail
Some parts of the Discovery Trail are somewhat steep, so be cautious, especially when on a bike.

The Quarry
Rose Robin
5 KM from where the trail starts at Seaton Track, there is the Granite Quarry. This quarry was used to mine granite for projects such as the entrance of the Gippsland Lakes. 7 KM from the Granite Quarry, you come to Log Crossing Picnic area. This is a great spot for birds, and there are toilets and picnic tables. You can then either continue the 13 KM to Lakes Entrance, or 2KM to the Forestech campus.

Gang Gang Cockatoo
The Gippsland Lakes Discovery Trail is an excellent birding location, or even just for a walk or bike ride. Here is some more information on it:

 DSE ( DELWP) PDF document

Rail Trails Australia

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Birding on the Gippsland Lakes

Birding on the Gippsland Lakes

Late last month I was invited by John and Pam Hutchison to go along with them and Faye Bedford (DELWP) in a boat on a birding trip on the Gippsland Lakes. We were to check small terns and the Pelican rookery. ( See John Hutchinson's post ) 

Google Map of the area


We departed from Paynesville around 9 AM and headed towards Crescent Island. After inspecting Crescent, Waddy and Barton Island, we stopped off at Ocean Grange. 

The Pelican colony was spectacular, with approximately 300 Pelicans there. 

A number of Hooded Plovers were also seen.

There were also lots of Black-Faced Cormorants on Crescent Island

3 Bar-Tailed Godwits allowed us to come quite close, and posed very nicely for photos.

There were also a good number of Crested Terns, which are always fun to photograph. 
It was a great morning out, with lots of new birds around. 

The Gippsland Lakes are a great spot to go birding, however, please be VERY careful of where you land and walk around. A lot of the islands have breeding birds on them, and walking through their colonies would be detrimental to the well being of our birds. See my previous blog post "Ethical Birding" for more information.