Birds of Port Fairy

Port Fairy was for us primarily a music festival destination and we also expected some coastal scenery, however I was also surprised to be able to add 9 new bird species to the list during our stay.     We saw a large number of water birds at the Tower Hill Game reserve that Maddy mentioned in her Port Fairy post, adding the australian shoveler duck to the list.  Unfortunately I did not get a blog-worthy picture, but did get a good shot of the black winged stilt below and the emu in Maddy’s blog entry.

black winged stilt

Port Fairy town itself was full of long billed corellas, a bit like the little corella, but with a pink splash on it chest and face.    I also got a nice shot of a yellow rumped thornbill taking off and a close up of a magpie lark.   Any Australian would know that you see magpie larks all over the place, but as it is so common, you sometimes forget to take a picture.

Yellow rumped Thornbill 2
Yellow Rumped Thornbill
Long billed corella
Long Billed Corella
Magpie lark
Magpie Lark

On a walk out to Griffiths Island at the edge of town we saw the threatened hooded plover, some red knot (a bird) and an immature pacific gull (all new to the list) and I also got a good photo of a hoary headed grebe.   Then on the way back into town: kelp gull and a welcome swallow.

Red knot
Red Knot (it is red when it has breeding plumage, which is normally only seen in the northern hemisphere
Hooded plover
Hooded Plover
Pacific gull immature
Immature Pacific Gull
Hoary headed grebe
Hoary Headed Grebe
kelp gull
Kelp Gull
Welcome Swallow2
Welcome Swallow

Griffiths Island is also well known as a short tailed shearwater (or muttonbird) breeding site and about 15,000 birds visit between about October and April each year.  I returned in the late evening to see the parents coming in after a day of feeding.   They arrived as it was almost dark so it was hard to photograph them.   You could just see their dark forms rushing overhead and dropping into the low bush around you.   I hoped that one would come down near me an I could see it entering its burrow, but in the end I had to settle for a flash photo of one flying overhead.

short tailed shearwater
Spot the muttonbird – trust me, it is a muttonbird

Lastly, about 5km east of Port Fairy, I visited another wetland area.  Unfortunately the birds were too distant to identify any new species, but on the nearby beach, I spotted red capped plover and double banded plover.  S

Double banded plover
Double Banded Plover – almost reverted to non-breeding plumage
red capped plover
Red Capped Plover

 

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