Sunday, 30 July 2017

Black-tailed Godwits in East Gippsland

Black-tailed Godwits in East Gippsland

Black-tailed Godwits are a very rare visitor to East Gippsland. There are no eBird reports, and only a handful of Birdata reports. In fact, I didn't know they even occurred  in East Gippsland until local birders told me.  Therefore, when John Hutchison ( Avithera ) informed me of a small flock that had turned up, at the end of July, in East Gippsland, I made it a priority to have a look. 

Black-tailed Godwits
The godwits had been reported on the sand island at The Cut, one of my favorite birding places.  I wasn't able to make it until nearly a week after they were originally sighted, but I wasn't disappointed. Through the spotting scope, I saw three godwits feeding some distance from me. It was early morning, so I had to work my way around the birds so that I could get some decent lighting.  Thankfully the godwits were engrossed with feeding and preening, so I was able to move into position. It was then that I discovered that there was actually five godwits. 

The godwits allowed me to approach within 10 metres without even moving, which allowed for good photographing. They were very sedentary, and only moved a few metres the whole time I was there. 

Azure Kingfisher
There were many other birds around, including an Azure Kingfisher that allowed me to get quite close. 

Little Pied Cormorant

Royal Spoonbills in morning light
The next day, I decided to got back for another look. This time it was late afternoon, with a stiff breeze. 

The five godwits together

The godwits in flight
Seeing the Black Tailed Godwits was a great experience, especially in East Gippsland and it makes a great break during the winter months while waiting for the migratory shorebirds to come back.

Friday, 28 July 2017

A Winter Afternoon in East Gippsland

A Winter Afternoon in East Gippsland

Lately I have been unable to get out birding, so I haven't had any new blog posts coming out. However, I was able to do a bit of birding on Saturday, 22 July, so I headed down to Eagle Point for a look.

The first place I headed for was Eagle Point Reserve. The reserve is located off Rivermouth Rd, which comes off Forge Creek Rd.

Eagle Point Reserve - Google Maps

Eagle Point Reserve - Google Maps

I arrived at the Eagle Point Reserve around lunch time, and started at Gate 4. The bird-life was quite prolific, with Grey Fantail, Golden Whistler, Eastern Yellow Robin, Black-Faced Cuckoo Shrike and Silvereye. ( eBird Checklist )

A nest

Male Golden Whistler

After walking though the Reserve, I headed to The Cut.  The Cut is one of my favorite birding places, and as usual, it did not disappoint.  There were a number of Red Kneed Dotterals, Australasian Shoveler, thousands of Coots and hundreds of Black Swans.

Great Egret

Red Kneed Dotteral

Eagle Point Reserve and The Cut are both great places for birding. They are less than 25 minutes apart and cover a good range of species.

Thursday, 6 July 2017



Ice in morning sun

Bendoc is a small town 10km kilometers from the Vic/NSW border. In the 1800's, Bendoc was a mining centre, but today it is primarily farming and forestry.

Bendoc is 103Km from Orbost, along the Bonang Hwy. Bendoc can also be accessed from Bombala in NSW.

Routes to Bendoc

While the Bendoc area is not noted for its bird-life, there is a considerable range of bush species. Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo are quite common in the area, as are Satin Bowerbirds and Lyrebirds. Brown Thornbill can be abundant in the right habitat, as well as White Browed Scrubwrens, Superb Fairwrens and Flame Robin.

The Bonang Hwy is  also a good spot for birding. White Throated Nightjar and Barn Owl can be seen in the early morning, and Wonga Pigeon, Eastern Yellow Robin and Lyrebird during the day.

Crimson Rosella

Eastern Yellow Robin
The Bendoc area is definitely worth checking out for birds. Try driving on the bush tracks, and stopping regularly and listen for bird calls.  Log trucks operate in the area, so pay attention to signs and keep you UHF radio on channel 40.

Frosty morning near Bendoc

*I haven't actually taken my big camera to the Bendoc area, so the bird photos are from other locations.