Firetail Birdwatching Tours

Extended

Firetail Birdwatching Tours with guide Simon Starr is Victoria’s longest running specialist guided bird-watching company with most tours starting and finishing in Melbourne.

Firetail Birdwatching Tours offer a wide variety of guided birdwatching, bird photography and general nature tours throughout the year across Melbourne, Victoria and South-Eastern Australia. Transport in a comfortable four wheel drive vehicle. Use of a Swarovski ATX95 telescope. Local knowledge gained after 25 years of exploring this region. Checklists provided. Drinks and snacks provided

For every tour Simon takes into account the widely varying conditions that occur here in Australia as well as catering to individual interests, to maximize sightings and give you the best experience possible.

Victoria is Australia’s smallest mainland state but one of its best kept secrets, where it is possible to visit all of South East Australia’s important habitats within just a few hours driving with 400 species recorded annually. Their website Birding Victoria includes a huge amount of information on birding sites plus links and resources. Last year’s Annual 10 day Megatour run every November recorded 283 species.

Facilities

Basic Disabled access available Extended Free Wifi Full Day Nature & Wildlife Nature and wildlife

Services

On this one day birding tour expect a long species list within a relatively small area as we explore various forested areas to the west of Melbourne followed by an afternoon at the world famous wetlands at Werribee.

Running for 10 days in late November each year the Victorian Megatour aims to showcase this state’s best birding sites from the rainforests, heaths and coastlines of the south to the box-ironbark woodlands, grassy plains and semi-arid mallee woodlands of the north, targeting many rare and iconic bird species plus enjoying the other flora and fauna that makes Australia so unique.

Minimum group size four and maximum eight. Last year over 280 bird species were recorded as well as 19 mammal species. Itinerary available for download from the website.

This tour takes you down to the Surf Coast in the morning for a taste of birding in the scenic Anglesea and Aireys Inlet areaa – at the very start of the Great Ocean road, this tour also includes the eastern sections of the Greater Otway National Park as well as the Anglesea Heath.

You will explore at least five different habitats in an action packed day including ocean beaches and headlands, coastal heathlands and coastal woodlands of Ironbark and Stringybark. You will look for the endangered Hooded Plover and some seabirds may be visible from shore depending on the weather such as Gannets, Shearwaters and the Shy Albatross.

The low growing heathland areas are home to some specialist species such as Blue-winged Parrot, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Southern Emu-wren, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren and the localised Rufous Bristlebird, whilst a taste of the woodlands of the area will add many birds to the day list with the mobile Gang Gang Cockatoo a possibility. Once again the morning’s birding will set us up for a bumper day with the Werribee area to visit after lunch.

This one day tour begins, as with Tour number three, along the Victorian Surf Coast exploring scenic ocean beaches and headlands, coastal heathlands and woodlands.

Spending more time here gives you a greater chance of connecting with more of the elusive heathland birds and also to drive further along the scenic Great Ocean Road into the taller, denser forest of the Otway Ranges near Lorne and Wye River.

This beautiful forest of towering Gums and giant Tree Ferns, similar to those found east of Melbourne in the Great Dividing Range, deliver yet another suite of potential bird species, such as Satin Bowerbird, Australian King Parrot, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Olive Whistler, Crescent Honeyeater, Bassian Thrush, Forest Raven and seasonally other wet forest species such as Rose Robin, Rufous Fantail and Satin Flycatcher.

Time spent this far west also gives us a very high chance of seeing the iconic Koala. The day concludes with a drive of around One hour and 40 minutes back to Melbourne.

East of Melbourne in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range are towering forests of Mountain Ash, the world’s tallest hardwood tree. These stunningly beautiful forests are home to one of Australia’s most remarkable birds, the Superb Lyrebird.

A morning spent here is usually enough time to find this species, as well as a nice range of other wet forest birds. Regularly seen are Rose Robin, Rufous Fantail, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Australian King Parrot, Red-browed and White-throated Treecreeper, Eastern Whipbird, Crescent Honeyeater, Lewins Honeyeater, Brown Gerygone, Striated Thornbill and Crested Shrike-tit amongst a range of other possibilities.

Driving through the leafy Melbourne suburbs on the way may produce a variety of Parrots such as Rainbow and Musk Lorikeets, Long-billed and Little Corellas and perhaps a roosting Tawny Frogmouth. The freeway past Melbourne’s CBD allows an easy drive through to the west and spend the afternoon at Werribee’s Western Treatment Plant where the birding pace will rise to another level with easier viewing in the wetlands and open country.

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