Tag Archives: Bastion Point

Ignorance is bliss

While staying in Mallacoota I visit Bastion Point several times a day at various tides looking for the birds that usually stop by this part of the coast. On most visits I came across a flock of Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos. I think it was an extended family as there were several adults and a bunch of juveniles still begging for food. The sound young cockatoos make when begging would make anyone give them food just to shut them up. On this occasion the adults  were quite agitated while the younger birds played around, looking about I found a young whistling kite on a tree branch nearby watching them all intently.

Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

II

Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Preening and teasing each other

Immature Whistling Kite, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Immature Whistling Kite watching the Black-cockatoos

Superb Fairy-wren, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

A bright male Superb Fairy-wren on lookout. 

Leptograpsus and Leptopius

Ok, well beetles have become a pain in my cloaka, it took me several hours to search various insect sites and databases looking for the name of this quite large weevil beetle. I learnt many new things about beetles that I was not really looking for example: weevils are the largest grouping of beetles.

I found this rather large beetle in the sand between the sandstone outcrops of Bastion Point in Mallacoota. It was at least an inch long and not overly worried by me point my long lens within a few feet of it. The closest I got to id’ing it was finding the Leptopius genus in the weevil family. Birds are so much easier to ID compared to all the insects out there. As the tide dropped many crabs started to scurry about and duck into cover as I discovered them. The most common one was the Purple Sand Crab officially know as the Swift-footed Crab with a latin name of Leptograpsus variegatus. Tonight as I was writing this post, I started to look into the latin meaning for lepto and why the coincidence of finding two sand creatures with similar latin names.  I stopped as I was heading down another rabbit hole and I thought I would rather watch a bit of Netflix and relax.

Genus Leptopius (sp), Bastian Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Genus Leptopius (sp), Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Swift-footed Crab, Bastian Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Swift-footed Crab, Bastion Point, Mallacoota, Vic

Sooty Oystercatchers

I visit Bastion Point each year to try and find the elusive Reef Egret. It has eluded me on 5 visits to Mallacoota. Many other birders seem to find and photograph the egret but I just keep missing it. I loop around the usual coastal spots where it likes to hunt in the rocks pools at the change of tides. While I miss the Egret I do quite often come across the Sooty Oystercatcher, a nice sized wader with all black plumage, bright orange/red eyes and bill and thick pink legs. The Pied Oystercatcher seems much more common than the Sooty and Bastion Point is a good location to find and photograph it (while waiting for my hoodoo bird to turn up)

While the Pied hunts across inlets, bays and waterways and is often seen in large numbers, the Sooty Oystercatcher prefers ocean facing rocky outcrops where it pries off molluscs from the rocks and catches small crustaceans wading in shallow rock pools. I often find them in pairs even in non-breeding season. I am always keen to try and find and photograph the Sooty.

Sooty Oystercatcher, Bastian Point, Mallacoota, 20 Dec 2016

Sooty Oystercatcher, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

Bastian Point, Mallacoota, 17 Dec 2016

The ocean beach side of Bastion Point, Mallacoota

Sooty Oystercatcher, Bastian Point, Mallacoota, 20 Dec 2016

Sooty Oystercatcher feeling for prey in a rock pool

Sooty Oystercatcher, Bastian Point, Mallacoota, 20 Dec 2016

A pair of Sooty Oystercatchers

Sooty Oystercatcher, Bastian Point, Mallacoota, 20 Dec 2016

Sooty Oystercatcher

Pied Oystercatcher, Shipwreck Creek, Mallacoota, Vic, 18 Dec 2016

Pied Oystercatcher, Shipwreck Creek, Mallacoota