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Birds of Victoria - #4 - South Gippsland

contributed by cougar15
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Birds of Victoria - #4 - South Gippsland White-faced Heron, Waratah Hills Vineyard, Fish Creek, VIC

Last Sunday was a glorious day for a drive after a week of patchy weather. So, we headed off towards Wilsons Promontory with a view to catching up with a former work colleague of my wife, and her husband, who own and operate the Waratah Hills Vineyard, which is a short distance past the township of Fish Creek.

Birds of Victoria - #4 - South Gippsland White-necked Heron, Waratah Hills Vineyard, Fish Creek, VIC

It was our first time at this vineyard and we were very impressed with its picturesque location amongst the Fish Creek hills, its general layout and the quality of its wine tasting / luncheon options.

Birds of Victoria - #4 - South Gippsland Australian (Richard's) Pipit, Desalination Plant, Wonthaggi, VIC

The vineyard is the perfect location for a lazy couple of hours to compliment an enjoyable touring experience around the magnificent countryside of South Gippsland.

On arrival, I was able to take some close range photographs of a White-necked Heron near the vineyard’s smaller dam and, on departure, some of a White-faced Heron.

The presence of these stately creatures certainly added another dimension to this very pleasant occasion. Hopefully, we will be able to return and participate in one of the vineyard’s ‘breakfast with the birds’ events.

Birds of Victoria - #4 - South Gippsland Superb Fairy-wren, Inverloch, VIC

On our way back to Phillip Island, we stopped just out from Inverloch, to take in the wonderful coastal views around Eagles Nest.

Birds of Victoria - #1 - Ballarat / Bendigo Region Little Pied Cormorant, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat, VIC

There, I was entertained for quite some time by a Superb Fair-wren as he feverously pursued an afternoon snack. These little fellows really do create a lovely colour contrast amongst the local vegetation and generally carry on with their business seemingly unconcerned with the presence of humans.

Birds of Victoria - #4 - South Gippsland White-fronted Chat, Desalination Plant, Wonthaggi, VIC

Our next stop was to have a look at some of the walkways around the Victorian Desalination Plant at Dalyston (near Wonthaggi).

I had previously read a report on the Plant’s rehabilitation of the adjacent countryside, including some extensive landscaping and the creation of picnic areas and formal walkways. And, although I only had a short period at the site, I was pleased to see the results to date.

Birds of Victoria - #4 - South Gippsland Wombat, Desalination Plant, Wonthaggi, VIC

During a 15 minute walk around the boardwalk next to the main carpark I came across a fairly young Wombat sleeping soundly in the afternoon sunshine within a dry water-course bed not more than 100 metres from where we had parked.

Birds of Victoria - #1 - Ballarat / Bendigo Region Australasian Grebe, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat, VIC

A little further away, but closer to the main building, there is a small lagoon on the RHS as you drive towards the public carpark. There, I was able to photograph Chestnut and Grey Teal, Pacific Black Duck, Eurasian Coot, Australasian Grebe, Little Pied Cormorant, Welcome Swallow, White-fronted Chat and Australian (Richard’s) Pipit.

I believe there are several other walks to explore at this site and will leave that experience for another day.

Nevertheless, it is great to see what this controversial project has already achieved in its overall rehabilitation process.

Birds of Victoria - #4 - South Gippsland Black-shouldered Kite, Wonthaggi, VIC

On the way back to the Bass Highway we saw two Brown Falcons working the local farming paddocks and a Black-shouldered Kite atop an isolated section of the roadside vegetation.

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