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First Hand Experience


Have you been to King Island?

If you are a bit of a traveller and are looking for somewhere a little different, then you should give it a go. Apart from a couple of world class golf resorts, life is pretty low key and relaxed; the locals friendly and accommodation mostly 3 or 4 star.

Situated in the middle of Bass Strait, you would expect some interesting weather and the landscape to reflect those conditions, mostly green pastures, low rolling hills and short vegetations.

And, of course, the island has BIRDS, lots of them and some interesting species. Five introduced species, the Indian Peafowl, Common Pheasant, Wild Turkey and Magpie, are the most common birds, roaming the island for all to see. Endemic species include the Green Rosella, Tasmanian Thornbill, Yellow Wattlebird, Black Currawong and the Dusky Robin while the prized sighting would be the Orange Bellied Parrot, if you caught it on its migration north or south.

We visited the island in mid September, having registered, by email, with “Wings on King”, expressing our interest in doing some bird identification, and, if possible making some contribution to the local birding effort.

As arranged, we were met at King Island Airport by Kate who introduced us to the Island’s birds, gave us stacks of information with locations to visit and a checklist of King Island birds. We were allocated a number of specific sites which we were invited to undertake 2 hectare surveys on any that fell within our tourism schedule....”no pressure just do as many as suits you”.

We completed 4 of the formal, 2 hectare surveys but were only happy with two of those, as well as a number of informal spot surveys. Kate seemed happy with that when we handed the kit and results back to her before our departure.

So, why not give it a go... King Island and “Wings on King”. Register on the Birds of King Island website.

Jan and Barry Hetherington

Yellow Wattlebird - King Island subspecies

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