The day started off at Point Addis, an area famous for surfing and Rufous Bristlebirds. Twenty avid bird photographers had braved the hordes of cyclists participating in the Great Otway Classic on the road to hopefully find some Bristlebirds and whatever else they could photograph without worrying too much about the surfing.
The Bristlebirds were calling clear and loud enough but only a few managed to see them and they were too far away to get a decent picture. Singing Honeyeaters were about too and lots of surfers.
Soon after we went to the other end of Point Addis Road and wandered about the forest at Ironbark Basin. Some of those keen on walking the track into the bush were rewarded with seeing Varied Sitellas and a Painted Button-quail which was at first thought to be a Brown Quail. A broad section of other birds were seen there too, including Yellow Robins, a Peregrine Falcon and the usual variety of other bush birds.
It was time to move on so we headed down to Anglesea, once again braving the hordes of cyclists who were looking much more tired as they were nearing their destination at Torquay. We stopped for a walk, then lunch at Coogoorah Park. A Buff-banded Rail was spotted by one lucky person but it proved too elusive for anyone else to see it.
After lunch we set off to a beach past Anglesea where Hooded Plovers were reputed to be. But alas, they were nowhere in sight.
The sky was distinctly smokey from the local burning off.
A local suggested that the Split Point Cliff-top walk at Aireys Inlet was worthwhile and so it proved to be. Some lucky members of the group finally got their first ever good views of a Rufous Bristlebird while there were Gannets flying nearby over the sea and Singing Honeyeaters also providing great views.
By now it was getting late in the day and time to head home.
John Van Doorn