Travelling Australia - Journal 2014b




16-23 November 2014 (part 1)


Much of the time at Omeo was spent engaged in collective bird watching activities. The bird-watching group was organised each day into seven or eight high clearance 4WD vehicles and travelled as a convoy into previously identified bird watching sites in the Alpine National Park.

As a general rule, suitable bird watching sites were also excellent sites for observing flowers. In the High Country, Spring does not arrive until mid to late November and many flowers were in full bloom. At some sites, orchids (of different varieties) were particularly prominent as a serious distraction from birds for some of the group.

The weather was mostly cool with some evening rain. Omeo is at an elevation of between 650 and 700 metres, well up into the High Country with its cooler weather than lower parts of Gippsland, but well below the snow-gum belt and the treeline above which trees do not grow. During one excursion we visited the top of Mount Hotham to look at the view from the lookout towards Mount Feathertop. The Bureau of Meterology web site was reporting an air temperature of 12° at the time of our visit with a wind chill factor of 11° in the strong, gusting wind which made the visit fairly unpleasant as soon as we got out of the vehicles.

grey shrike-thrush

Grey Shrike-thrush near Omeo (at the Oriental Claims Reserve)