Moments: In a Class of their Own

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.

Enjoy

Hello Cocky!
Incoming

Feeding Young. Like all cockatoos and parrots this is accomplished with a lot of noise and wing-flapping

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Takeaway Food

Finding Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos

To be honest, we were just out for the sun, and the afternoon walk.
We had taken the road to The Office, and it was still a quagmire.  But at least passable, so we pressed on. And just as well we did. As “Bernie” the Brown Falcon, and “Bernice” were on display in the paddocks.  I’d say that they definitely have family matters on the agenda, and it was nice to be able to see them sitting together, and do a few slow laps over the tree tops.  Not the usual fast cutting run of a falcon on a mission.

 

 

We ambled up to the mansion, and as we settled with the ducks, a Great Egret, and a cuppa of the good Earl of Grey, it I thought I heard the loud noises of some cockatoos in the distance.  And within a few minutes, several Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos slipped through the trees.

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