During our only evening in Mallacoota in January it was warm and calm, ideal for a walk after a lovely dinner in the bistro of the local hotel where we were staying. The inlet was relatively quiet despite the large numbers of people – and their boats – staying in the seaside town for the Christmas holidays.
We found a comfortable seat on a headland overlooking the inlet. It was a good vantage point for some late evening birding, though the fading light made photography a challenge. In the estuary we saw several White-faced Herons, Whimbrels, Common Greenshanks, Pied Oystercatchers and Pacific Gulls, all too far away to get good shots.
Earlier we had seen a White-bellied Sea-eagle cruising overhead, sending some of the local birds into a mild panic. While we were relaxing it flew past again and landed on a tree across the water some two metres away. It was a long shot, even with the camera on the full 12x zoom. I haven’t seen this species all that often and never in a position for a close up photo, so this is the best I could do. The eagle is in the middle of the photo and it looks like it is eating something it had caught.
On our walk around Mallacoota in eastern Victoria in January we were pleased to get up close to a group of Australian Pelicans in the harbour. I was pleased to get some interesting close up shots of these lovely birds. Click on the photos to enlarge the images.
On our visit to Mallacoota in far eastern Victoria in January we went for an after dinner walk along the foreshore and estuary of the river. It was a calm, warm evening and we had a pleasant time exploring this lovely spot for the first time. We decided that this is one place we needed to revisit – and stay four or five days at the very least.
In the quiet estuary we saw many Black Swans, Australian Pelicans, a few Pied Oystercatchers and three Royal Spoonbills.
While on our walk we saw several Great cormorants as well as some Little Pied Cormorants. Two Whistling Kites patrolled the shallows in the company of a lone White-bellied Sea Eagle. I’ve not seen too many sea eagles in all of my birding, so this was something special. I was surprised though that there were not many ducks in the estuary. In fact I only recorded a few Australian Wood Ducks. Perhaps the kites and eagle had scared them off.
The inlet is an ideal haven for fishermen, and this is iluustrated by the large number of boats present in the water and on trailers in the caravan park. There are also boats offering cruises on the river, like the one shown below.
Last January we had a holiday in Sydney and then drove to Melbourne via Canberra and the south coast. From Eden we drove on towards Mallacoota along a section of the coast we had never visited before.
Our first impressions of Mallacoota were very favourable. The town is on a river estuary and the setting is quite charming. We plan to return here with our caravan some day and stay for a week or more. We intend avoiding the summer holidays. As you can see in the photo above, the caravan park on the foreshore is wall-to-wall tents, caravans, boats, bikes, cars and 4WDs. Not my idea of a quiet holiday spot.
After a very nice meal of seafood in the hotel bistro, we decided to go for a long walk around town in the cool of the evening. I was hoping to get a good list of birds for this area and some photos would have been a bonus.
It was with delight and a little surprise that the first bird I saw upon leaving our motel room was a Common Bronzewing pigeon, shown in the photo below. I am quite used to seeing this species feeding on the sides of roads or flying rapidly across the road in front of the car while driving. I am used to seeing this bird out bush and relatively remote, or least quiet, places. But here was this individual feeding on the lawn a few steps from the back of the motel. It was one street from the main shopping strip and a busy spot. This bird was cautious but not over alarmed by our presence. It was a nice sighting and one of only a handful of this species seen on the entire journey of about 3500km.