Excursion 11: Birding around Toora

SEANA Spring 2023 Camp

Excursion 11: Birding around TooraSunday, all day
Leader: Ron GreerFacilitator: Linda Hayes

The purpose of this excursion was to showcase some of the birdlife of Corner Inlet, provide an overview of Corner Inlet from Mt Best and observe a different grouping of birds in and around Agnes Falls. As all those who attended can attest, the weather on Sunday impacted quite a few excursions.

There were 13 people on this excursion including myself, Ron Greer, as leader and Linda Hayes, the facilitator, both from the Sale & District FNC.

The Toora bird hide is just to the south of Toora and just inside the boundary of Corner Inlet, a RAMSAR listed region of approximately 67,000 hectares. A lot of this is quite shallow and with the 2.5m tidal range exposes large feeding areas for birdlife. The tide was still relatively high when we arrived, many birds feeding about 100m in front of the hide. The birds followed the falling tide and presumably flew to other parts on the inlets to feed. I had planned to walk over some of the mudflats, but the driving rain and wind put a stop to that. The label ‘mudflats’ is a bit of a misnomer, the area in front of the mangroves in front of the hide is mostly sand. I have walked (with old shoes) at least 200m directly in front and at least that either side. Only occasionally did I find a soft area but never went past my shins and I consider it worth the effort on a low tide.

We observed at least nine species with a few others unconfirmed and not listed.

The migratory birds were:
Eastern Curlew – Numenius madagascariensis,
Bar-tailed Godwits – Limosa lapponica, and
Red Necked Stints – Calidris ruficollis,
The itinerant birds:
Black Swans – Cygnus atratus,
Silver Gulls – Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae,
Pacific Gulls – Larus pacificus,
White Faced Heron – Egretta novaehollandiae, 
Pied Oystercatcher – Haematopus longirostris, and
Little Pied Cormorant – Microcarbo melanoleucos.

With the birds retreating with the tide and the weather deteriorating we drove to Foster for lunch, the local Toora eating places being closed. The weather deteriorated further during lunch, and I deemed it unsafe and of no value to proceed to the last two locations. A suggestion was made to visit the Port Albert Maritime Museum which proved to be a treasure trove of maritime history both old and relatively new. The exhibits are well displayed and the visit was well worth the entry fee.

Ron Greer