One of the first places many people recommended I visit while in Apollo Bay was the Paradise Picnic Ground. It’s hard to find much information about it online, despite there it being on one of the signs in Apollo Bay.
Basically, it is a teeny picnic area about 7km out from Apollo Bay.
On arrival one picnic area is located near the carpark and toilets. We recommend you follow the track across the road which will lead you to a beautiful picnic area aptly named ‘Paradise’. Here there are a couple of picnic tables set beside the creek under an ancient tree fern canopy.
It is incredibly beautiful and a lovely place to do photography, and is a bit closer then some of the walks a bit further out. There isn’t much of a walk – although some people have created an unofficial path by bush bashing.
I wasn’t sure how to find birds here so basically just wandered around for an hour, sitting and listening to the sounds. The eastern yellow robin was a frequent visitor.
I actually went there twice. I went there for a 10 minute walk with my parents on the first day, to see if they’d be interested in exploring. Seth was starting to play up so we decided I’d return the next day ‘to visit a friend.’
If you like eastern yellow robins, I highly recommended it. They were so photogenic. There were a number of grey fantails hanging around so I ignored some of the birds around that size who had similar behaviour. I regret doing it as I nearly missed out on this yellow faced honeyeater!
The honey eater was flitting around about a meter from the ground and feeding from flowers. I’m pleased with how the photos turned out
I did see a bronze cuckoo of some description, but there wasn’t enough of it to be able to tell what species it is. I was so surprised when my friends ID’ed it because it was a lot smaller then I would have thought. The tail is completely different.
I wonder how many times I may have seen it in the past and dismissed it because it was the ‘wrong size’. I’m hoping to see both of them over the spring/summer birding season. I’m not sure I will, as I don’t know enough, and there is just so much to learn.
I’m not fussed about not being able to add something to the life list because I did learn something! This is despite falling over there (the ground was wet and slippery) and being pretty sick with a cold.
Bog standard brown thornbill – even though the above photo didn’t really look like a thornbill to me. I find little brown birds to be so confusing. Bring on ducks. Ducks are easy.
I also saw a white throated treecreeper there. In the third picture, it looks like it has something in its mouth.
When I saw this I realized that there is a lot of similarity between here and the brisbane ranges. The treecreeper, robin and honeyeater are all ones I’ve seen in both areas. It was interesting because they are completely different types of forest. Probably not so different in terms of the the trees and flowers, but different in the climate.
This golden whistler was a lot of fun to photograph. Look at the detail and brightness in that photo! And this was in a dark area!
It took a while to get a good look. I was hoping it was a crested shrike tit, even though I don’t think they’d like this type of forest. Even Sethy said the photo was beautiful.
I didn’t have much luck with other types of birds but darn, the area was great for photography. It has been overshadowed by places like Maits Rest and Melba Gully.
This adventure wasn’t as good as it could have been for birding. It’s partially because of lack of information online but mostly because of my inexperience. I struggle with bird calls, have no idea about behaviour of many species and was walking around there wondering if I even deserved to call myself a birder.
I pulled myself out of the funk pretty quick – it was mostly because I was sick and feeling sorry for myself. And, I told myself to go easier on myself. Birding isn’t my life. It keeps me sane but it also causes pressure. Because I need to ask stupid questions online, because there are social nuances in the birding community and because I’m just not able to do the huge birding days/trips that others can do.
It is so overwhelming going to new environments. It’s something I haven’t done for a while, at least for the primary purpose of birding. That’s one of the reasons I stopped and just took shots of the scenery.
I was impressed with how the lens handled it. I don’t know whether the photos are better then they would have been with the kit lens. There are definitely better then they would have been with the Nikon!
Hope to return one day, at a point where I have more experience 🙂