Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

South-East Oz Part 5 – Torquay to Tarra Bulga

Following our visit to Cape Otway (see following post) we continued our journey to the eastern end of the Great Ocean Road at the tourist town of Torquay, where we stayed for two nights in the Foreshore Caravan Park. From here we visited the centres of Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads, but not much was about other than a few immature Pacific Gulls.

Pacific Gull immature
The Breamlea Reserve was similarly disappointing but a Hooded Plover was nice to find at Pt Impossible - at the northern end of one of Victoria's major nudist beaches.

Hooded Plover

Hooded Plover habitat at Pt Impossible
We moved on to Geelong for 2 nights in the Southside Tourist Park. The extensive parklands along the Barwon River impressed. A Collared Sparrowhawk put in an appearance at one of the parks. 

Collared Sparrowhawk
Our visit coincided with the AFL Grand Final; we were content enough with the lively ambience but the unrelenting foul weather was taking its toll.The Moolap Saltworks on the bay were pretty well devoid of birds, as was Belmont Common. Reedy Lake – the western end of the Lake Connawarre system – had some nice birds including Magpie Goose, Brolga, White-fronted Chat and Swamp Harrier.

Magpie Geese 

Swamp Harrier

White-fronted Chat
We departed Geelong and followed a tip from Melbourne birder Michael Gooch to the red cliffs of K Road in Werribee South. The continously blustery conditions weren't helpful but eventually we tracked down one of the Purple-crowned Lorikeets that Michael had nesting here the week before.

Purple-crowned Lorikeet

Purple-crowned Lorikeet
We travelled eastward across Melbourne via its efficient freeway system; apologies to my Melbourne friends for not visiting but towing a big caravan around the city did not seem like a good idea. We ended up in the Fernholme Tarra Valley Caravan Park, a delightful place and base for our visit to Tarra Bulga National Park in the Strezelecki Ranges.

Tarra Bulga
Here the towering Mountain Ash trees – the world's tallest flowering plant - and abundance of tree ferns in the forest did not disappoint, and at last the wind died down. I walked the main tracks leading off from both the southern picnic area and the park visitors centre. My main target, Pilotbird, was quite common, with the area around the visitors centre carpark particularly good.


Superb Lyrebird and Olive Whistler were common. I was grateful for the opportunity of watching a male lyrebird in full display but the vegetation prevented photographic opportunities.

Superb Lyrebird

Olive Whistler
Rose Robins were common.

Rose Robin
I saw a few Pink Robins, including some gloriously adorned males.

Pink Robin

Pink Robin

A Flame Robin was about the visitors centre. Other birds included Bassian Thrush, Crescent Honeyeater and Gang Gang Cockatoo. About the campground at night, a Common Wombat was looking good.

Common Wombat

1 comment:

  1. I always feel a bit of an idiot roaming through nudist beaches fully clothed in sun-safe clothing and with a birding camera in hand but for a Hooded Plover it would definitely be worth it.