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 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.