EE and I had a week away around the Bellarine Peninsula.
We had several bird species in mind, and to get the ball rolling, Australian Gannets, were the first order of the series.
Queenscliff is the closest town to “Popes Eye”, a man-made structure, that was designed to be a gun emplacement to protect the Queenscliff fort area. As it turned out we ran out of enemies before the emplacement was complete, and it languished as a small bluestone reef.
However the Gannets that inhabit Port Philip Bay used it as a rookery, or is that a Gannetry, and the birds patrol up and down the coast from their home.
You can actually watch them on-line at Reef Cam, on this link
For us, working the shoreline, things such as the weather, wind, tides and fish all work for, or against, and in the few hours we had in the rain, it was, well, against.
Score, John Wayne 0 Gannets 1.
Queenscliff was a very important tourist destination in the late 19th century, and to help set the olde worlde them the parks and foreshores were planted with exta-ordinary stands of pine and cypress.
In the early part of the year these all produce loads of pine-cones, all rich, green and fresh. A regular takeaway for Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos.
With their highly distinctive call, and family disposition, they can be followed around town as they help themselves to the best of the ‘cones.
Again we managed an overcast day, and had difficulty really getting the rich colours, but we were able to keep the contrast a little under control, so wins all round.
John Wayne 20, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, 50+
Our third target was the Latham’s Snipe at Lake Lorne, so next week, I’ll explore that area.