Saturday, April 2, 2011

Point Nepean, a special place















Point Nepean is a special place to visit, not only for its history and landmarks, but also for its wildlife. A short walk to the beach provided an opportunity to observe a family of Hooded Plovers and some Australasian Gannets cruising past. Sometimes you can see dolphins playing in the surf, but not today. Container ships often sail by as they negotiate the tricky exit from Port Phillip Bay.

A longer walk takes you to Cheviot Beach facing Bass Strait, raw ocean power with constant waves crashing onto the many exposed reefs. Here you can find gannets, shearwaters, petrels, terns, gulls, and the odd albatross feeding in the nutrition rich waters. Today I was able observe Australasian Gannets, Crested Terns, and Sooty Shearwaters diving inbetween the waves to catch fish before flying away to feed their young.

Walking to the end of the trail brings you to Port Phillip Heads where gannets cruise past as they move from their fishing grounds to the breeding colonies at Popes Eye in Port Phillip Bay. An offshore island is a resting place for cormorants, gulls and terns. Trying to capture a decent photo into the sunshine made it quite difficult so I reccommend a morning visit. The scrub provides excellent coverage for Singing Honeyeaters, Red-browed Finches, Silvereyes and numerous Red-eared Wattlebirds.

As I left, a single Nankeen Kestrel hovered directly above me and provided good photo opportunities but again, the sunlight was a problem.

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