Bird Watching
Bird Watching
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Aireys Inlet offers several different environmental habitats in a small area, hosting around 140 species of birds. Both serious birders and casual observers will be richly rewarded by a stroll around the beaches, cliffs and nearby walks in the Great Otway National Park.

The Cliff Walk is a great place to see Rufous Bristlebird, which is only found along a narrow band of the south coast. It is a poor flyer but has a lovely chirpy song, so listen for the distinctive call and watch for it running across the path in front of you.

Other birds commonly seen on the cliff walk are the Singing Honeyeater, New Holland Honeyeater, Crimson Rosella, Yellow Rumped Thornbill and both the Red Wattlebird and Little Wattlebird. The Grey Shrike-Thrush sings beautifully along the cliff. In summer you might be lucky enough to see the Blue-Winged Parrot feeding in the coastal heath.

The beach at low tide is a great place to see the White-faced Heron, Little Pied Cormorant and Pacific Gulls feeding on exposed rocks. In spring Peregrine Falcons nest up high on the cliffs near Sandy Gully beach or around Eagle Rock. Along the high tide line between the Inlet and Fairhaven lifesaving club you may see Hooded Plovers near their extremely vulnerable nests. In summer the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos cruise back and forth along the coastline with their slow deep wing beats and squealing calls.

Wetlands. The Painkalac Creek Estuary and Allen Noble Sanctuary are fertile wetlands harbouring many waterbirds. The Sanctuary is home to the Black Swan, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Hoot, Dusky Moorhen, Little Grassbird and several species of Duck. A seasonal is the Latham's Snipe, which has a distinctive long straight bill. It arrives in summer after its annual migration to Japan for breeding. You may also find the Buff-banded Rail hiding in the tall grass around the edges of the Sanctuary.

A Great way to see the birds on the estuary is to hire a canoe and paddle up the Painkalac Creek. The Great Egret can usually be seen feeding around the estuary and Spoonbills are casual visitors. Above the estuary around the flood plains you may see the Black-winged Kite, Nankeen Kestrel and Goshawks hunting.

Great Otway National Park. Distillery Creek picnic area is the starting point for several good bush walks. The Iron bark Gorge walk is a good place to see the White-throated Treecreeper, Eastern Spinebill (mainly in winter), Eastern Yellow Robin, Grey Fantail and White-naped Honeyeater. In the forest, especially in spring, you might hear the Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Rufous Whistler and Golden Whistler.

The walks around Moggs Creek picnic area will offer the keen birder an array of bird calls and sightings.