Phillip Island in a howling gale: last trip for 2014

Another early start to meet up with John at Tooradin for a circuit of the sites around Phillip Island. The Island can be a busy place even in Winter due to the Little Penguins and the Penguin parade that attracts many visitors. In summer it can be much worse with all the day trippers, campers and holiday stays. We started at the Nobbies and got the Kelp Gull (with chick) on the same rock platform where we found a pair last year with a chick. We also got the little penguin and had a look at the Silver Gull colony. No photos as it was just too wild. We had a look at Swan Lake – highlights: Freckled and Musk ducks and Cape Barren Geese.

We drove down to Rhyll foreshore and the inlet hoping for a little calmer viewing – highlights were 100+ Bar Tailed Godwits, a few Eastern Curlews and some Pied Oystercatchers. It was a long walk along the mangroves and ridge-line trail so I only carried the Scope rather than my camera gear. John got a few nice pics of a blue tongue lizard…the rest of the birds were too far way for any detailed shots. Previously I had thought that observing 7 Godwits was pretty good…. the numbers at Rhyll Inlet blew me away. We studied the sandbank for quite a while looking for other gems hidden amongst them (like a potential lifer: a Whimbrel)…but nothing else popped out.

John Van Doorn's Bar Tailed Godwits Rhyll Inlet Phillip Island, Vic 30 Dec 2014

John Van Doorn’s Bar Tailed Godwits Rhyll Inlet Phillip Island, Vic 30 Dec 2014

John Van Doorn's Blue Tongue Lizard at Rhyll Inlet, Phillip Island, Vic 30 Dec 2014

John Van Doorn’s Blue Tongue Lizard at Rhyll Inlet, Phillip Island, Vic 30 Dec 2014

JVD Blue Tongue -  II

JVD Blue Tongue – II

At our last site, Fishers Wetland, we got more Cape Barren Geese and a few Black Tailed Native Hens. The goose is a good bird for practising your photography skills and fieldcraft. It is a large bird so you need to find a good spot where you can fit it all in when using a large prime focus like the Canon 400mm. As long as you moved slowly they did not mind too much when you angled in close or around it to get the sun in the right spot. They only got nervous and moved away when two of us started to circle for shots…

Cape Barren Goose, Phillip Island, Vic 30 Dec 2014

Cape Barren Goose, Phillip Island, Vic 30 Dec 2014

Cape Barren Goose II,

Cape Barren Goose II

Cape Barren Goose III

Cape Barren Goose III

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