Phillip Island and mainland Bass Coast are a haven for bird watching!
Greet migratory mutton birds on their journey from Alaska, see rare wading birds and feed excitable pelicans on Phillip Island.
Pelican Feeding – San Remo
Don’t miss the opportunity to watch the pelican feeding that takes place daily at midday at the San Remo Foreshore. Enjoy seeing the wild birds squabble, sway their beaks and dance in unison.
It’s an impressive sight to watch these big and unique birds slowly gather around the foreshore, as they wait patiently for their lunch to arrive. The purpose of the Pelican feeding is not just to give these hungry birds a feed and entertain the crowd but also to help educate the public in regards to the Pelicans, their diet, lifestyle and how we can improve conservation and environmental efforts to protect these and similar species. Whilst visiting the pelicans you can also find a variety of large Stingrays that can often be seen gliding through the water above from the pier or even down by the beach.
Migrating Shearwater Birds
Short-tailed shearwaters arrive on Phillip Island around 24 September after a 16,000km migration from the waters off the Aleutian Islands near Alaska. Short-tailed shearwater lives in sandy burrows along the Phillip Island coastline in summer and during April and May, most of the chicks take-off for a 16,000-kilometre journey to islands off the coast of Alaska.
Head to Cape Woolamai’s main car park or most Southern coastal beaches to witness the spectacle of over a million short-tailed shearwaters returning to their colony en masse at sunset. Shearwaters, or ‘muttonbirds’, lay one egg in the last week of November in a sand dune burrow. The egg hatches in mid-January and the parents feed the chick before beginning their migration back to the northern hemisphere in mid-April. The fat, fluffy chick is left behind until it grows its ‘adult’ feathers and begins the migration weeks after the adults leave.
Real birds at Rhyll
Spot all kinds of migratory wading birds from Rhyll Inlet and wetlands. Royal spoonbills, straw-necked ibis, swans, little pied cormorants and the rare hooded plover visit annually to feed and breed. Follow the boardwalk to the lookout or the Oswin Roberts Walking Track to reach rewarding bird-watching areas. Keep a lookout on your travels for the pink legs and yellow beaks of the Cape Barren Geese, which live on the many offshore islands.
Bird Trail Map
This map has been created to provide an introduction to the many viewing areas and information about bird species in the region.