Bruny Island!

Male scarlet robin, downing an insect.
Scarlet Robin (male) downing an insect

I went out to Bruny Island today, on a day tour with this company. We left on a largeish catamaran at half eight, and arrived on the island. Piled into some school buses and were taken on a forty minute drive to the south part of the Island – we crossed over narrow isthmus that links the two main land masses.

Then it was time to don a silly looking full length sailing coat and head off on a really zippy little boat into the Southern Ocean. It was fantastic! Tasty, salty air, and liberally splashed with sea water. Fairly quickly spotted a White-bellied Sea Eagle hunting off the dolerite cliffs. It was an overcast day and there was some heavy rain, and the boat pitched around a lot, so photography was challenging but I managed to get some shots.

Australasian Gannet, diving
Australian Gannet, diving

We went to some rocks out to sea away from the Island and saw a bunch of Australian fur seals. They seemed quite interested in us at first but then rapidly decided to ignore us and go back to frolicking and fighting. In the same area we saw a great many Kelp Gulls and a flock of Australian Gannet. The gannet are incredibly graceful birds, and fearsome hunters – they pretty much hurl themselves at the sea.

Bird list for today:

  • Black-faced Cormorant
  • Scarlet Robin
  • White-faced Heron
  • Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
  • Australasian Gannet
  • Silver Gull
  • Kelp Gull
  • Short-tailed Shearwater
  • Arctic Jaeger (I think, didn’t get a photo)
  • White-bellied Sea Eagle
  • Pied Oystercatcher

I saw a little Rail / Crake run into shrubbery as the bus went past it, but unfortunately wasn’t able to photograph it. That’s the trouble with tours, you can’t stop to look at things that probably only interest yourself. That said, this was a well run tour and the guides were very nice pointing out birds once they realised I was interested.

Anyway, had a terrific lunch and then I wandered off to do a sneaky bit of birdwatching while everyone else was in a shop. I found a breeding pair of Scarlet Robin busily building a nest – look in the photo set for a bunch of shots. Really lovely little creatures, the female was gathering spider webs and the male was hunting.

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