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Victoria Bird Watching

Author: Carl from Pahrump (More Trip Reviews by Carl from Pahrump)
Date of Trip: March 2007



london bridge australiaIn 2006 and 2007 we spent 255 Days driving around Australia. We started in Darwin, drove south to Alice Springs, backtracked to Cairns, went down the East Coast to Rockhampton, cut over to Melbourne, went across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth, drove up the West Coast to Broome, and finished by crossing the Kimberely Region on our way back to Darwin -- 24,000 miles & 6 rental cars. Along the way we stayed in 56 cities and saw 693 bird species/subspecies.

This Trip Report covers the 18-days we spent bird watching in Victoria in January & February 2007 -- Wilson's Prom, Dandenong Ranges NP, Great Otway NP, and Apostle Bay.

We saw 118 bird species at 11 parks. The parks where we saw the most bird species were: Corner Inlet Marine NP = 46, Great Otway NP = 37, Chudleig Cottage = 36, Wilson's Prom = 33, Bald Hills Wetland = 30, Cottage Flower B&B = 28, Apostle Bay = 26, Sherbrooke Forest = 23, Griffith Island = 23, Dandenong Ranges NP = 18.

The cities were we saw the most birds: 4 days in Yanakie = 71, 4 days in Lavers Hill = 63, 9 days in Sassafras = 44, & 1 day in Port Fairy = 29.

Lodging

Yanakie - We stayed at the Black Cockatoo Cottages (www.promaccom.com/blackcockatoo 38.835S 146.249E). We had a great view of the Corner Inlet. Massive flocks of Straw-neck and White Ibis were around the property.

If you put these coordinates into Google Earth, you can see the locations I am discussing. Typically, there will be lots of pictures as well.

sassafras australia jacksons of chudleigh parkSassafras -- We stayed at Jackson's of Chudleigh Park http://www.jacksonsofchudleighpark.com/ 37.860S 145.353E). This was a last minute change of plans since no one was around at the cottage we had reserved. We found Jackson's of Chudleigh Park thru the Visitor's Center that was a booking agent for local properties. This is the most luscious property we have stayed in on the trip. The grounds were covered in tall trees including American Sequoias. The 6-acre property was a nursery a 100 years ago. Now there are massive old fashion hydrangea bushes (Wilma brushed up against one and got a shower), Japanese Anemones, Fox Gloves, Shasta Daises, and a lot more.

Lavers Hill -- We stayed at the Melba Gully Cottage Flower Farm B&B in Lavers Hill (www.accommodationguide.com.au/nbsDetails.asp?sit=2&tid=1&sid=&rid=-1&aid=1&pid={079B8BF6-1D99-47CD-9023-BB6E149D14C5}&eAddr=&eSb 38.692S 143.368E). We were stunned by the array of flowers that greeted us -- snowball dahlias, football dahlias, dinner plate dahlias, etc. And Birds -- we saw 2 new ones the first evening; i.e. Gang-gang Cockatoos and Rufous Bristlebirds. Both birds are rare and normally very hard to find, but they are residents here (I guess they like the flowers too; plus, there is no cat).

Port Fairy -- We stayed at the Port Fairy Motel (stay@portfairymotel.com.au 38.376S 143.230E). This was a last minute substitution, but worked out fine. The morning we left there were hundreds of Long-billed Corellas in the tall pine tree outside our motel window.

Highlights of the Region:

Seeing Southern Emu-wrens at Castle Cove Beach.

Getting a brief glimpse of a Superb Lyrebird at the Sherbrooke Forest.

koala cape otway australiaSeeing 16 Koalas hanging-out in Trees at Cape Otway NP.

Naming new dahlias species at the Melba Gully Flower Farm.

Seeing the Aborigine clay sculptures at the Rickett's Sanctuary in Olinda.

Hiking the tracks at Apostle Bay.

Seeing the red Owl eyes of a Varied Sword-grass Brown Nymph Butterfly at Wilson's Promontory.



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