The May birdwalk started out with a short visit to the Barwon Heads Bluff. It was a wild and windy day with the ocean roaring, and a couple of us were very fortunate to see a Shy Albatross soaring over the waves.

Everyone had a good sighting of an Australasian Gannet, a Pacific Gull and a few other birds. We then retreated to the more sheltered cliffs overlooking the river mouth, where we saw a large number of Crested Terns on the rocks.

The next location was the Yellow Gums Estate in Ocean Grove to look for Swift Parrots. Sadly we did not see any, but there were many flocks of other screeching parrots, especially Rainbow Lorikeets and, one Scaly-breasted Lorikeet.

Rainbow Lorikeet and 2 Red-rumped parrots
Rainbow Lorikeet and two Red-rumped parrots 

Amongst these harsh calls we were pleased to identify the ringing calls of a Grey Butcher bird and Grey Currawong.


After that we thoroughly enjoyed a walk around the scenic Blue Waters Lake which was alive with water birds including Royal Spoonbills, that were almost tame.

Scenic lake

Raft of birds
Raft of birds 

It was good chance to observe the differences between the two types of Black cormorants, and the amazing scalloped/flattened lobes on the toes of the Eurasian Coots, very different from the long straight toes of the Moorhens and Swamphens.

Three types of Cormorants
Three types of Cormorants


We were really in need of our morning tea/coffee by this time so we called in at the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve which was, however, quite devoid of birds.

Morning tea
Morning tea


On our return journey some of us stopped at Hospital Swamp where we saw a large number of Purple Swamphens, plus a few Red-kneed Dotterels and elegant Black-winged Stilts, and, happily, no duck shooters.

Red-kneed Dotterel
Red-kneed Dotterel

Below are all the birds identified, the location they were identified and the number seen:

BH: Barwon Heads
Y: Yellow Gums estate
W: Blue Waters Lake
H: Hospital Swamp


  1. Grey Teal - W 12
  2. Chestnut Teal - W 4
  3. Northern Mallard - W 4
  4. Pacific Black Duck - W 20
  5. Australasian Grebe - W 5. H 1
  6. Hoary-headed Grebe - W 1
  7. Spotted Dove - W 2
  8. Shy Albatross - BH 1
  9. Australasian Gannet - BH 1
  10. Little Pied Cormorant - W 1
  11. Great Cormorant - BH 2, W2
  12. Little black Cormorant - W 4
  13. Australian Pelican - W 10
  14. Eastern Great Egret - W 1
  15. Australian White ibis - W 9
  16. Royal Spoonbill - W 12
  17. Australian Hobby - Y 1
  18. Purple Swamphen - W 2, H 30
  19. Dusky Moorhen - W 26
  20. Eurasian Coot - W 100
  21. Black-winged Stilt - H 6
  22. Red-kneed Dotterel - H 20
  23. Crested Tern - BH 80
  24. Pacific Gull - BH 1
  25. Silver Gull - BH 6
  26. Galah - Y 6
  27. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo - W 1
  28. Rainbow Lorikeet - Y lots, W 2
  29. Scaly-breasted lorikeet - Y 1
  30. Musk Lorikeet - Y 20
  31. Eastern Rosella - Y 3
  32. Red-rumped Parrot - Y 2
  33. Superb Fairy-wren - H 1
  34. Brown Thornbill - BH 1
  35. Singing Honeyeater - BH 1
  36. White-plumed Honeyeater - W 2
  37. Noisy Miner - Y 6
  38. Red Wattlebird - W 1
  39. Grey Butcherbird - Y 2
  40. Australian Magpie - Y 10
  41. Grey Currawong - Y 1
  42. Willy Wagtail - H 1
  43. Little Raven - Y 6
  44. Magpie-lark - W 4
  45. Welcome Swallow - BH 12, Y 20, H 15

Ellinor Campbell

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