Excursion 12: Old Port Trail at Port Albert

SEANA Spring 2023 Camp

Excursion 12: Old Port Trail at Port AlbertSunday morning
Co-leaders: Jay Duncan and Julie Murray

On the day of the Port Albert excursion, we had a great deal of rain and blustering wind. While the bird-watching planned from the Victoria Street vantage point for the first part of the tour was cancelled, some hardy souls elected to walk the Christopher Robinson Walking Track, meeting us at the southern end of the Old Port Trail further up the coast.

The coastal and saltmarsh vegetation provided plenty to see at the start of the Old Port Trail walk: Yellow Sea-lavender (Limonium austral var. australe) and Southern Sea-heath (Frankenia pauciflora var. gunnii) among the amazingly diverse coastal saltmarsh were highlights. A Tiger Orchid (Diuris sulphurea), the red of the local Correa (Correa reflexa), the elegant profusion of Austral Grass-trees (Xanthorrhoea australis), and gnarled branches of Saw Banksia (Banksia serrata) were all stand-outs in the relative shelter of the coast woodland found along the Old Port Trail.

We observed a troupe of Silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis), and Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus), Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculate), Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus), and Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa) were noted. Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius), Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus), Australian Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris), Silver Gull (Larus novaehollandiae) and Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) were also recorded.

The tide began to recede while we were there, with fleeting emergence of the sun and blue skies providing views of the Grey Mangrove (Avicennia marina subsp. australasica) this part of South Gippsland is known for.

Despite the challenging conditions, most of the group commented on the energising effect of walking in the natural environment, of taking in new sites that emerge around each new corner and the uplift from spending time with fellow enthusiasts. The pause to eat and spend time out of the elements before the afternoon’s sessions was also met with enthusiasm.

Julie Murray

Coastal Saltmarsh vegetation, Settlement Beach, southern end of Old Port Trail, Port Albert (Julie Murray)