Birding at Gypsy Point.

Leader was Bob Semmens.

On the northern edge of Gypsy Point along a narrow spit of land 1km long and 300 metres wide is surrounded by the Genoa River on three sides. A track leads along the spit. Tall Mountain Grey Gums at the beginning of the walk were home to a colony of Bell Miners, which were calling clearly with their bell-like “tink”. Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Grey Shrike-thrush and Golden Whistler added to the symphony of birdcalls. King Parrots and Satin Bowerbirds flew through the foliage.

The spit was only a few metres above water level. Giant Honey-myrtle grew in the swampy areas. Muttonwood carried a heavy crop of green berries. Topknot Pigeons are attracted to these trees when the berries ripen. Trailing along the ground was a Red Passion-flower. Other plants growing along the track included Tree Violet, Hazel Pomaderris, Red-fruit Saw-sedge, Rough-fruit Pittosporum and Boobialla, Work has begun to control the weeds in the area.

Two Water Skinks, enjoying the sunshine on a dead log, moved away quickly.

A Whistling Kite carried food to a nest in a tall Mountain Grey Gum. At the tip of the spit we saw a White-bellied Sea-Eagle which had been attracted to a fishing boat. A Swamp Harrier was flying over the Mallacoota Inlet and a Wedge-tailed Eagle was soaring in the distance.

On the return journey we added Blackbird and Yellow Robin to the bird list. A highlight was the excellent views of a male Leaden Flycatcher perched in a Blackwood.

During morning tea at Gypsy Point Jetty an Azure Kingfisher flew past. A pair of Black Swans with two cygnets was swimming on the lake. Across the far side of the lake we saw a White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest in a tall gum tree.

Our last interesting spot was in a Karbethong garden. A Satin Bowerbird had built a bower between shrubs only 20 metres from a house and 5 metres from the road. Around the bower was a collection of blue objects including drinking straws and bottle tops.

All the excursion participants benefited from the knowledge of flora and fauna that Bob had built up over a long period of working and living at Mallacoota.

John Gregurke