A birdyfull day at the Laverton Creek Estuary.

It’s a glorious late autumn day on Port Phillip Bay.

The Altona wetlands on Port Phillip is one of the 65 RAMSAR listed sites in Australia. RAMSAR sites are critical for supporting wetland and migratory birds around the world.

Today the birds were there in force many feeding up for migration north as the southern winter approaches.

The Pelicans hunting as a pack scooping up the shoals of pilchards in their huge bills.

Egrets were flying in to join the feast.

The Herons were also there for the hunt.

It truly was a very birdifull day to be out by the bay – to be out in nature.

A short trip to North West Victoria – the silo art trail

On the road to Sea Lake there is the little settlement of Nullawil with its beautifully painter silo.

This is the eastern most point on the Victorin Silo Art Trail. The trail covers around 700km of the Wimmera Mallee region and includes 13 painted silos.

As this was only a short trip I can only offer a sample of the artwork.

Nullawil

Sea Lake

Sea Lake has some beautiful street murals as well.

Heading south west from Sea Lake the village of Lascelles has the next painted silo.

Then running south there is Roseberry

Then Brim, the first of the silos to be painted and completed in 2016

The last silo on this trip was in Rupanyap.

As you can imagine this is grain growing country. Mainly wheat but also other grains and pulses.

At Murtoa, there is ‘the stick shed’. A huge grain storage shed with a floor space of 1.5 ha and the roof held up by massive poles or sticks.

There were many of these sheds built around Australia in the 1940s but this is the last surviving “stick shed”. It’s a wonderful piece of Australian national heritage.

For more information on the Victorian Silo Art Trail go to: http://siloarttrail.com

A short trip in North West Victoria – Sea Lake

Sea Lake is a small village in the Mallee Country in the North West of Victoria. It gains its name from the salt lake next to it.

It was a great opportunity to take my faithful old mighty Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 for a run.

Lake Tyrrell whose name is derived from the aboriginal word Deril which means open to the sky. It is Victoria’s largest salt lake that is believed to be formed 120,000 years ago.

The lake is a a light pink colour.

The thin film of water over the lake provides a mirror like finish and perfect reflections.

The outback sunset was just an amazing sight reflected on the lake.

The Lake is also a great place for star gazing and practising astronomy watching the endless sky of the outback.

Unfortunately the building cloud cover that added drama to the sunset made star shots not possible. But what a view this beautiful lake provided.

Meanwhile back home summer time ends on a beautiful autumn day – time for bird watching

Summer daylight saving time has ended on the east coast of Australia.

The autumn sun and stillĀ  mild days are welcome.

I took my long lens and bicycle and went bird watching on a near perfect day.

Hope you enjoy the photos.

White Faced Heron

Spoonbill

Australian Pelican

Black Swans

And some passing ducks

Back to Queenscliff to Swim with the Seals

Finally the strong winds that had been blowing around the Rip, the entrance to Port Phillip had abated and a date to swim with the seals fixed.

The evening before the swim, on Shortland Bluff overlooking the Rip, a Kestrel was riding the last of the wind as it hunted for prey

Then he spotted me and was off

As night fell the ships passed through the heads. Mechant ships going about their business and cruise ships sparkling bright in the night.

The next morning was still and the converted fishing boat awaited us.

Most of Port Phillip is marine sanctuary these days and hence a haven for wildlife. Structures have been built to give shelter to the Australian Fur Seals that reside in the Bay.

The seals are happy to join the swimmers in the water.

Along with a largish Smooth Sting Ray.

Pope’s Eye is an artificial reef also in the Port Phillip Heads National Park. It is a significant breeding area for the Australian Gannet.

There are also forests of kelp and other sea weed and colourful and inquisitive fish.

The crew were great as was the little old fishing boat.

Nothing like lolling in the net and watching the world go by!