Bird watching in the Victorian Alps

May 07, 2015
Bird watching in the Victorian Alps

Richard Loyn has dedicated his career to the conservation and management of forests and wetlands to improve outcomes for all wildlife. He does however, have a particular soft spot for birds.

A birder since around the age of nine, Richard has travelled the world to watch birds. In his words:

“Birds are very special… They bring nature home to us. Their range of behaviour and their ability to migrate long distances are all part of the fascination.”

New to Bird Watching?

Richard’s advice is pretty easy to follow. Find a local bird watching group near you, and meet up with them. Invest in some quality binoculars – you can get a really good pair for a few hundred dollars these days. Get to know your local birds through that group and buy a bird book (field guide) or an app – there’s a range of both available.

Get out there into the birds’ environment and learn to identify them not only by sight, but even more so by sound. It is often far easier and quicker to identify a bird by its call than by trying to see it.

Bird Watching Around Bright and Mt Beauty

According to Richard, birds within the Bright and Mt Beauty region are typical of upland birds in Victoria in general. So who might you expect to see or hear? You could find any of ~100 species, and some of them move out of the high country for the winter. Here are some notable examples, but some are much easier to find than others:

• Australian Pipits (on the high plains in summer)

• Flame Robins (common in Snow Gums and high plains in summer)

• Pink Robins (in Myrtle Beech rainforest)

Pink Robin David Fisher

• Latham’s Snipe (in alpine bogs, nesting in Japan)

• White-throated Needletails (these swifts feed overhead, & nest in NE Asia)

• White-eared Honeyeaters (common in Snow Gums)

• Crescent Honeyeaters (Snow Gums and wet forest in summer)

• Olive Whistlers (in Snow Gums and wet forest)

• Pilotbirds (in Snow Gums and wet forest)

• Superb Lyrebirds (in wet forest)

Superb Lyrebird badger weir david fisher

• Southern Boobook Owls (calling in the forest at night)

• Powerful Owls (in mixed-species forest in the foothills)

powerful owl banyule june 2012 richard loyn IMG 6961.6

• Sooty Owls (in wet forest gullies)

• Spotted Quail-thrush (in mixed-species forest in the foothills)

• Satin Bowerbirds (in mixed-species forest in the foothills)

We caught up with Richard to find out more about when, where and what we can expect to see on a trip to Bright, Mt Beauty and surrounding High Plains.

Hear everything he had to say in the video above...

A sincere thank you to David Fisher for providing us with his beautiful photos of the Pink Robin and the Lyrebird, and to Richard Loyn for his time and also his terrific image of a Powerful Owl

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