A sunny midwinter morning at Distillery Creek proved to be good for birding, in contrast to the previous dull, wet day when few birds were evident. (Full list at end of report).

Start of the walk along the road

Many birds were busy in the leaf canopy, but the strong winds at that level made it very hard to locate them in the ever-moving foliage. We enjoyed hearing numbers of honeyeaters, particularly the Crescent Honeyeaters, which seemed as numerous as the ubiquitous New Holland Honeyeaters. It was a good learning environment to distinguish the range of calls of the Crescent HE, apart from their most well-known “egypt” call.

Fingerless gloves are good at this time of year

Two types of cuckoos were heard but, even with some diligent looking, were not seen.

Where is that Cuckoo?

A Golden Whistler heard early in the walk along the road, finally came close enough when we were on the bush track for everyone to have a clear view of his glorious markings.

Now for the bush track

Look.. it's a Golden Whistler

Towards the end of the main walk we were delighted to hear, then see, two Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos languidly fly past, with one landing nearby so we could check if it had a red band around the eye, which is a characteristic of a male.

Our wonderful scribe

The highlight was a different LBB (Little Brown Bird) high up in a tree displaying its white underparts and flicking its wings and tail in an unusual way. Finally we saw a bit of a blush on its upper chest and, after much looking in an iPhone app. and a bird book, we came up with a diagnosis...a female Rose Robin, indeed a most unusual sighting.

What is that LBB? We'll look in the book

How about the Iphone app?

At morning tea in the picnic ground we were entertained by a pair of Scarlet Robins. Two of us decided to walk back into town in the sun and see what else we could find.

What now... who wants to walk back to town?

There were a range of water birds in the swampy areas in the paddocks near the Creek, and we had our only sighting of a raptor... a Nankeen Kestrel. The view out to sea from the lighthouse was really something, with the extreme winds turning the sea near the shore into a frothing cauldron of white.

Aireys Inlet beach

The high winds had brought some Shy Albatross closer to shore than usual, and were beautiful to see as they glided effortlessly over the waves. To the naked eye they disappeared from view when their upper body with black wings were toward the shore then appeared, as if by magic, as they turned and their white underparts caught the sun’s rays.


Can you see the Albatross?

The morning finished on a high note to the ringing sounds of Singing Honeyeaters and our most special of birds, the Rufous Bristlebird which is highlighted on the Angair mosaic.

Singing Honeyeater

Rufous Bristlebird

Ellinor Campbell

Below are all the birds identified on this walk:

Distillery creek/Painkalac Creek & paddocks/Coastal Reserve Reserve/Ocean

  1. Black Swan
  2. Australian Wood Duck
  3. Grey Teal
  4. Shy Albatross
  5. Australasian Gannet
  6. Little Pied Cormorant
  7. Great Cormorant
  8. Eastern Great Egret
  9. White-faced Heron
  10. Nankeen Kestrel
  11. Masked Lapwing
  12. Yellow-tailed Black
  13. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  14. Crimson Rosella
  15. Shining Bronze Cuckoo
  16. Fan-tailed Cuckoo
  17. Laughing Kookaburra
  18. White-throated Treecreeper
  19. Superb Fairy-wren
  20. Rufous Bristlebird
  21. White-browed Scrubwren
  22. Brown Thornbill
  23. Eastern Spinebill
  24. Singing Honeyeater
  25. White-eared Honeyeater
  26. Red Wattlebird
  27. Crescent Honeyeater
  28. New Holland Honeyeater
  29. White-naped Honeyeater
  30. Golden Whistler
  31. Grey Shrike-thrush
  32. Australasian Magpie
  33. Pied Currawong
  34. Grey Currawong
  35. Grey Fantail
  36. Willy Wagtail
  37. Little Raven
  38. Magpie Lark
  39. Scarlet Robin
  40. Flame Robin
  41. Rose robin
  42. Eastern Yellow Robin
  43. Welcome Swallow
  44. Bassian Thrush
  45. Common Blackbird
  46. Common Starling



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