Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Phillip Island and it's Cape Barren Geese

Philips Island is a 90 minute drive south east of Melbourne. It's a proper island but you can drive onto it via a bridge. The day we chose to go was Melbourne Cup day, and in the morning there was torrential rain, so much so that for most of the journey I was wondering why we had bothered setting out. However by the time we arrived the rain was easing and the sky was showing the first signs of hope, and by midday the sun was out and it was pleasantly warm.

Probably the highlight of the day was the Cape Barren geese, especially those that had chicks. When I saw this species in Port Lincoln earlier in the year they were in flocks and behaving pretty much like geese in winter back home. However in summer they leave the mainland and breed on offshore islands, but I must admit that before we saw them it hadn't occurred to me that we might see them with chicks today.

A beautiful goose, but up until this point they had all been fairly docile.

This is more like it, a bit of Cape Barren Goose aggression! This is how I remember them at Martin Mere a few years back, charging at visitors who came too close to their pen, and this is how I always wanted to see them, on an Island with the crashing waves of the Bass Straight behind.

More scare tactics.

Hooded plover, one of the rarest waders in Australia, confined to the southern most parts of the country.

Kelp gull. Note the white tertial crescent and relatively heavy bull.

Pacific gull. Note the lack of a tertial crescent and the stonking great bill!

Superb fairywrens.

Black wallaby, also known as swamp wallaby.

Yellow-faced honeyeater, a new species fore me.

Cowes beach

Cowes beach

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