Tag Archives: St Kilda Pier

Its all in the name

Rename a native rodent from water-rat to its aboriginal name “Rakali”, and you can change the public view on an ignored animal. A family of Rakalis on the St Kilda break water has been semi-tamed via a local fisherman feeding them bait, fish and little cheese snacks. The Rakali has a varied diet and can be quite aggressive in its¬†hunting. I have seen one kill an injured Pink-eared duck at the Werribee Treatment Plant.

St Kilda pier and break water is a good place to get up close and personal with the Rakali family as well as the nesting and roosting Little Penguins. On this visit most were still out hunting and I only found one Penguin down a rock crevice burrow.

Little Penguin, St Kilda break water, Victoria 27 Dec 2016

Little Penguin, St Kilda break water, Victoria

Rakali, St Kilda break water, Victoria 27 Dec 2016

Rakali, St Kilda break water, being fed a snack (notice the rear web feet)

Rakali, St Kilda break water, Victoria 27 Dec 2016

II

Rakali, St Kilda break water, Victoria 27 Dec 2016

III

St Kilda Pier – fishing, fashion, falling and feathers (but no rats!)

The St Kilda Pier has it all – a cafe, great views of the city, yachts, fishing, evening promenades, fashion, parachuting, Little Penguins and Rakalis.

St Kilda Pier

St Kilda Pier

Melbourne City Skyline from St Kilda Pier

Melbourne City Skyline from St Kilda Pier

Melbourne City Skyline from St Kilda Pier II

Melbourne City Skyline from St Kilda Pier II

Looking back into St Kilda from St Kilda Pier

Looking back into St Kilda from St Kilda Pier

Paragliding, St Kilda Pier

Paragliding, St Kilda Pier

Fishing off the rocks - baseball caps are usually the norm around here but this hat might change the local fashion scene...

Fishing off the rocks – baseball caps are usually the norm around here but this hat might change the local fashion scene…

Black Swan W36

Black Swan W36 Рsee previous post on logging tagged Swans

Pied Cormorant

Pied Cormorant

People visiting Melbourne often have on their lists a visit to Phillip Island to see the Little Penguins at the Parade. A nice local secret is that there is a colony of Little Penguins at the breakwater on the St Kilda Pier (only a few kilometres from Melbourne CBD). One can get very close to a penguin (a few feet) and get great photos for free anytime of the day. Eggs are laid, chicks raised and fed, swims taken, adults moult and sunbake…all within easy reach (with a camera). The site is monitored by the local Rangers as well as the local fishermen who are very happy to point out the best spots to see them and to advise of the required etiquette when getting close to the Penguins.

Penguin colony access from St Kilda Pier

Penguin colony access from St Kilda Pier

Little Penguin napping

Little Penguin napping

Little Penguin moulting - this guy looked quite uncomfortable, scratching with his wings and beak. He was under a wooden bench ignoring everyone .

Little Penguin moulting – this guy looked quite uncomfortable, scratching with his wings and beak. He was under a wooden bench ignoring everyone .

Look at me, look at me!

Look at me, look at me!

Little Penguin rock climbing - he had just come out of the water and was climbing up to his regular roost/grooming rock

Little Penguin rock climbing – he had just come out of the water and was climbing up to his regular roost/grooming rock

 I think this is my best side...

I think this is my best side…

yes I am very cute aren't I?

Yes I am very cute aren’t I?

you had better think I am cute!

You had better think I am cute!

Like, whatever, I am out of here...

Like, whatever, I am out of here…

A bonus at the site is the regular appearance of the Rakali. The fishermen tie up a fish with string and a little marine mammal pops out for a snack. It is the spitting image of the biggest rat you have ever seen and scares the tourists when one pops out of the rocks. But size, fur colour and webbed feet give away what it actually is…The water rat has been renamed the Rakali to remove the rat name association and I think it works well. We have Rakalis along the canal behind our house in Elwood (a nearby suburb) but have not seen one for quite a while. There are local volunteers who will sit for a few hours each evening and wait for Rakalis to move past and count and observe them for the local Eco teams.

 I am not a rat, I am a Rakali...a native water mammal, a water ah um ....rat

I am not a rat, I am a Rakali…a native water mammal, a water ah um ….rat

Rakali - notice the webbed rear feet

Rakali – notice the webbed rear feet

Rakali III

Rakali III

Little Pied Cormorant grooming and drying his feathers.

Little Pied Cormorant grooming and drying his feathers.