Monday, November 14, 2011

Birthday Birding at Bruny Island, Tasmania

Each year I treat myself to a weekend of birding for my birthday. The criteria to select the location is pretty simple –I  just answer  the following questions…
1.       Where can I get as many lifers as possible?
2.       Where can I get to reasonably quickly?
3.       Where can I afford to go?
So, this year I chose Tassie, and after a small amount of research I realised that the most affectively way to get the endemics  would be to go straight to Bruny Island and stay there! On Saturday I arrived at Hobart Airport and  picked up the hire car (which was so small I think I COULD have actually picked it up) and I was on my way to the ferry.
I stopped at  Peter Murrell Conservation Reserve.  This little park is a hidden jewel. Only about 20 min from Hobart, tucked behind the Vodaphone tower.

Little hire car at Peter Murrell reserve
A short, but enjoyable walk around the lake proved worthwhile. Yellow Wattlebird was my first tick followed by Tasmanian Native Hen, then Black-headed Honeyeater. 

Yellow-throated Honeyeater

I tried for Forty-spotted Pardalote but every Pard I got onto turned into a Striated or Spotted. Oh well….

Then it was onto the Ferry at Kettering. $28 will get you a return trip but ensure to have cash on you as the “hole in the wall” has broken down which left me with literally $1 to last me the weekend!!

45 km later I was at the South Bruny Island and at my accommodation. I beautiful property which is very well vegetated and owned by a conservationist. This private property has Forty-spotted Pardalotes so I immediately went out searching them.  Whilst searching I found Green Rosella, Yellow-throated Honeyeater, Strong-billed Honeyeater &Tasmanian Scrubwren.

Tasmanian Scrubwren

Green Rosella

Superb Fairy-wrens

I then saw the Forty-spotted Pardalotes! They were nesting and flying in and out of a hollow. The hollow was high up so it was difficult to take photos but I gave it a try!

I then found Dusky Robin, a very beautiful bird.

Immature Dusky Robin

Black Currawong was found up on the mountain and then a quick stop in the rainforest provided great views of Scrubtit and Tasmanian Thornbills. YAY, all 12 endemics are now accounted for!


Black Currawong

Then into an area of old growth forest which is sadly being destroyed by logging provided 8 Swift Parrots! I discovered immediately why they are called SWIFT. Boy are they fast!!

Flame Robin

A walk along the beach provided Pied Oystercatchers , Hooded Plover, Kelp Gull  and White-bellied Sea-eagle. An Echidna also wandered past....

Kelp Gull

Last night I went spotlighting and got Little Penguins at the Neck between South Island and North Island along with Eastern Quoll, Bennet’s Wallaby (Red-necked), Tasmanian Pademelon and Tasmanian Bettong.

This was a rushed trip but worth it.   All I need now in Tassie is the Ground Parrot…. Next time….

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gluepot Reserve

Friday evening I drove to Gluepot Reserve. I rolled out the swag and slept under the stars before getting up at 5.30am to make the most of the dawn chorus.

I'd only been in Taylorville for 30min before I was joined my some of my birder mates and we enjoyed a couple of hours photographing Scarlet-chested Parrots.

We found some lovely birds. It was a very enjoyable weekend!

By 10am is was too hot to continue birding on foot so we made use of the bird hides for a while. We were joined by a variety of reptiles who were also looking for somewhere to cool off.

This morning a walk around Kangaroo Dam provided numerous honeyeaters, Gilberts Whistlers, Chestnut Quail Thrush, Striated Grasswren, Restless Flycatcher, Budgies, Woodswallows and numerous Mulga Parrots.

Another fun weekend at Gluepot!!