The Birds of Granite Island, Victor Harbor
Granite Island lies a short distance off the coast from Victor Harbor, South Australia. The island is one of several in Encounter Bay. It is possible to walk the short distance from the town to the island via a wooden causeway. It is also possible to take a ride on the historic horse drawn tram that operates every twenty minutes every day.
When I checked my birding database I was surprised that I don’t have any records specifically confined to the island. This could just reflect the way I have the database set up. Being an island there are quite a few sea birds one can see on a visit to the island. Just a quick list of the sea birds I have seen – and this is from memory:
- Little Penguin
- Silver Gull
- Pacific Gull
- Little Pied Cormorant
- Little Black Cormorant
- Great Cormorant
- White-faced Heron
- Sooty Oystercatcher
- Pied Oystercatcher
- Caspian Tern
- Crested Tern
- Red-capped Plover
- Australian Pelican
A few other species of birds can be seen on the island itself. There are a few trees and large expanses of grass on the top of the island. Here I have seen:
- Australian Magpie
- Little Raven
- Masked Lapwing
- Crested Pigeon
- Spotted Turtledove
- Welcome Swallow
- Willie Wagtail
- Singing Honeyeater
- Magpie Lark
- Common Starling
This is far from an exhaustive list and has been done from memory – a dangerous thing to do.
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Hi Trevor, I’ve noticed a bird lately at Encounter Bay. It’s the size & shape of the Pacific Gull with a similar beak. His colouring though is a brown/grey colour….any ideas??
Hi Lesley – it sounds like a juvenile Pacific Gull. They are quite common along our coast, but not in large numbers.
Hi Trevor, I noticed a bird species on granite island, that can not fly, ground dwelling.
Any idea on what species it could be?
Thanks for your question. I assume that you are not talking about the Little Penguins which nest on the island. Some other possibilities which have all been recorded on the island include: Brown Quail, Buff-banded Rail, and Painted Button-quail. These are all ground-dwelling birds and will fly if frightened or threatened. Can you give me a description of the bird which will help in narrowing down the species – or consult a field guide for help.