Author Dorothy L. ◦

Part 4 ◦ Smelling the salt air of the coast…

It was worth coming to the Otways Ranges, photographer’s paradise. Eastern, Flame, Pink, Rose and Scarlet Robins, Olive Whistler and the Rufous Fantail. WOW what a great experience, except for getting lost several times. Not good when you don’t know the area, and it’s raining and cold. So back to Ballarat to get a satellite gps installed. Gee these birds are costing me a small fortune.

From The Otways it’s all downhill to The Great Ocean Road. Camped at The Reserve at Port Campbell on the coast, which has good amenities plus powered sites.

The Striated Fieldwren, Crescent Honeyeater, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Brown-headed Honeyeater, are all birds I had never seen before, as well as the Hooded Plover. It is an endangered bird and protected, nesting along the beaches of Peterborough, Victoria and further along the coast towards Portland.

At the Peterborough Headlands, I watched the Sooty Oystercatcher continuously searching for sandworms to take back to the nest on the offshore rocks. The Pacific Golden Plover and Blacked-faced Cormorant also came for a short time. Then I went on to the beach and watched a pair of Hooded Plovers pecking into the seaweed for whatever insects to be found. A family of Lesser Plovers feeding along the water line, here I decided to lay flat on the sand, good idea yes?…… although not with binoculars around my neck! Still, I achieved reasonable photos.

Another day along The Great Ocean Road I came across the Bartail Godwit and the Ruddy Turnstone, then White Chats on the beach which surprised me (as I thought they were inland birds).

Pacific and Kelp Gulls were wonderful to watch and to take of photos of whilst in flight, as well as feeding among the masses of kelp washed up on the beach.

After Port Campbell, I returned to Portland for another visit for no reason other then to check out the Gannet Colony again. This time I achieved better photos of the gannets in flight and whilst there I passed a koala sitting on the low foliage along the pathway within the fence of the colony! Also an echidna, wow two beautiful native animals that are not birds.

I returned to Port Campbell for a week over Xmas.