Last week we went for a short, five day holiday to Robe in the south-east region of South Australia. Robe is about a three and a half hour drive from home. This beautiful, historic seaside town is popular with tourists, with good reason. It is a quaint little fishing town catering well for the many visitors that flock there, primarily in the warmer months.
Being the middle of winter it was the off-season and that suits me fine, especially from a birding point of view. There are several downsides; the weather can be very dodgy and even bitterly cold. Another downside is the absence of wading birds; they all have better sense than us and head north for our winter. While the birding was quiet, I did record some good birds. Nothing spectacular, mind you, but satisfying nevertheless.
During our stay I went on three quite long walks and several drives searching out the bird life of the region. I was also looking for some good scenery shots to include here and on my travel blog.
Twice I walked from the cottage we were renting past the Sea-Vu Caravan Park and then along the bay to the fishing boat harbour. Robe is situated on Guichen Bay. On my walks I went along the Town Beach, where the photos above were taken.
Overall the birding was a little disappointing. We had a friendly Willie Wagtail in the back yard, along with Silver Gulls flying overhead and occasionally landing on the fence or the roof. Common birds around our cottage and in nearby streets included House Sparrows, European Goldfinches and Common Starlings.
The cottage backed on to the local golf course which was lined with trees. In these trees I saw Little Ravens and Grey Currawongs. Throughout the town there were many Little and Red Wattlebirds, New Holland Honeyeaters, Grey Fantails and Welcome Swallows. I also saw the occasional Common Blackbird.
One noticeable species in many parts of the town was the Masked Lapwing. This species seems to enjoy feeding on the many spacious and very green lawns throughout the town. One pair even landed noisily on our back yard lawn, but they flew off again before I could fire up the camera.
On my walks along the beach I didn’t see many water birds. I did see two Black Oystercatchers on the rocks near the Town Beach, as well as Little Pied and Little Black Cormorants out in the bay. Silver Gulls were everywhere, but not in large numbers. I saw one Crested Tern. In the bushes fronting the beach there were many Singing Honeyeaters.
In the coming days I will write about other birds seen and other places visited while on my holiday.
Updated November 2013.