Birding Port Melbourne Beach
Well, another week has gone by here in Melbourne and I am managing to walk to a variety of locations from the city centre quite easily and the weather has been kind to us so far. The temperatures really vary day by day, but even more than that with this city’s reputation of “four seasons in one day”! I don’t let that slow me down, but set off for a day of walking prepared for any changes that may occur.
I am afraid I can’t give you any tips on public transport from the city centre to Port Melbourne Beach, but it is readily available. I crossed the Yarra River in the city centre and headed down Clarendon Street and then turned to my right and got myself onto the Sandridge Rail Trail. This trail is narrow and green and follows a tram route and brought me out right on the coast of Port Phillip Bay at Port Melbourne Beach. Along the trail there were Red Wattlebirds, Noisy Miners and Common Mynas in the native trees.
I was soon onto the beach and there were several Pacific Gulls in varying plumage and they really are a magnificent gull. The red on both the upper and lower section of the bill distinguish it from the Kelp Gull.
Pacific Gull and the smaller Silver Gulls
The Pacific Gull is also a lot larger than the more familiar Silver Gull that we have in Broome, which is present around Melbourne too. The Silver Gulls were generally keeping their distance while the Pacific Gulls fed along the shore. Silver Gulls are a common sight in the city centre, while the Pacific Gulls keep to the coast.
Pacific Gulls in varying plumage
I was also pleased to see a Black Swan in the sea, because I had only observed them in the Yarra River, the lakes at the Botanical Gardens and Albert Park Lake until now.
Black Swan, Pacific Gulls and Silver Gulls
I noticed a large flock of Silver Gulls roosting high up on the beach and on closer inspection I noticed a juvenile Crested Tern roosting among them. One evening we had noticed a lone adult Crested Tern flying along the Yarra River and this was my second sighting since arriving in Melbourne.
Silver Gulls and Crested Tern
Crested Tern among the Silver Gulls-note the upper centre Silver Gull lowered its head to be in the photo!!!
The beach is covered in small shells and seaweed at the high tide mark and I also came across a recently deceased crab.
High tide debris
You can continue to the south along the promenade to St Kilda and beyond or continue north and return to the city via Westgate Park, which is what I chose to do. Although you are close to the city you can enjoy the beach and if you are lucky you may even see a Little Penguin feeding!