Our short stay overnight in Mallacoota was far too brief. Early the next morning we headed back to the main highway on our way to Gisborne north of Melbourne. It was one of the longest days on the road for the entire holiday. On the road leading out of the lovely seaside town of Mallacoota I took the above photo of the type of beautiful country we had to drive through.
Along the coast road from Sydney to Melbourne there are few places where you are very far from forests. Part way through the morning I asked my daughter if she’d seen enough trees. She was almost at the point where some open country would have been a pleasant change.
I didn’t see any birds of note on the way out to the highway, except near the locality called Genoa. Near a creek and its associated wetlands I saw the only Swamp Harrier of the trip. I also heard some Bell Miners in the trees there.
By morning tea time we had reached Orbost on the Snowy River. While having my cup of tea I wandered down to the bank of the river but there was little of interest to be seen. I saw several Purple Swamphens and Little Pied Cormorants. I heard a Clamorous Reedwarbler in the reed beds along the river, and a Laughing Kookaburra was calling nearby. I was surprised to hear some Bell Miners because I always associate them with heavily forested areas which is not correct. Their habitat preferences are much broader than that. It’s a species I’m still learning about.
I saw several Grey Fantails, Australian Magpies, various common honeyeaters and some Silvereyes. The only other species of note was a small flock of European Goldfinches, the only time I recorded this species on the trip.
When I wrote the title of this post I thought I’d seen very little on that day. In actual fact I had quite a nice little list even before lunch time. Birding is like that.
Mystery Bay is so named because many years ago some men exploring the area in a boat disappeared. Their whereabouts remains a mystery.
On our way south from Bateman’s Bay in NSW in January we stopped briefly at Narooma to buy some bread and some goodies for morning tea. The picnic grounds at Mystery Bay seemed as good as any for a rest and a cuppa. It also looked promising from a birding point of view.
Click on the photos to enlarge the images.
The Eurobodalla National Park started on the edge of the picnic area and looked like it would have some interesting species on the long walking trail leading south. Unfortunately I had no time to investigate and had to be content to stay in the picnic area.
It was interesting to see both the Red Wattlebird and the Little Wattlebird in the trees near the picnic area. A solitary Laughing Kookaburra kept us interested as we had our cuppa. My wife and daughter noticed that this bird seemed to have some sort of injury to one of its legs. It didn’t come close enough for a closer inspection. A family of Superb Blue-wrens could be heard in the nearby undergrowth and soon braved the open lawn area near where we sat.
Four Great Cormorants were sitting on the rocks just out to sea (photo above) while Silver Gulls and Crested Terns were seen on a nearby beach. Back in the picnic area I saw a few Welcome Swallows, a single Grey Fantail and several White-backed Magpies.
We had a very pleasant morning tea but the bird list was not all that impressive.