Walking Kurth Kiln

First walk in the book.

This is a walk through dense, wet forest. The path leads you through a mix of vegetation ranging from tall Messmate and Stringybark trees to stands of Banksia and extensive patches of ferns as well as stream side plants.

Early on in the walk you will enter a grove of Banksias which have beautiful yellow cones when in flower, which tends to be from autumn onwards. Honeyeaters are attracted to the nectar and you are likely to see groups of Crescent, Lewins and New Holland Honeyeaters along with Eastern Spinebills.

In spring and summer you are likely to hear the beautiful calls of Rufous and Golden Whistlers throughout the forest. The males stand out with their distinctive colours, but the females are more subdued and tend to blend in more.

Flitting around the lower foliage you could see our two fantails. The Grey Fantail will often come close to an observer if you stay still as it hawks for insects. They have even been known to grab at your hair for nesting material. The Rufous Fantail is more cautious and you need patience to get good views of this bird as it tends to stay in the denser sections of foliage.

High up in the trees various parrots and cockatoos can be seen and heard. The creaking calls of the Gang Gang Cockatoo can be heard as the move through the forest. Whilst feeding they tend to be quiet and hard to see but gum nuts falling from the trees can be a giveaway. The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo is much easier to see as they make quite a racket as they fly. The Crimson Rosella has a much more musical and varied call and you will see them all though this area.

Gang Gang and Yellow-tailed Cockatoos and Crimson Rosella

All along this walk you you will hear the creek flowing in background. At various points you can descend to the edge and this is always worthwhile to see different birds such as White-browed Scrubwrens, Brown Thornbills and Superb Fairy Wrens.

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Introduction

              More than 40 sites have been selected, and these are divided into 9 regions . The site descriptions for each region are grouped together so that once you are in an area it is easy to check out several sites if you wish. Site descriptions include a site summary, directions, track commentary, level of difficulty and a map. Generally directions to a particular site are given from the centre of the nearest town, the centre usually being the post office.

              In any guide, choice of regions can be somewhat arbitrary but I have decided on the regions defined as forecast districts by the Bureau of Meteorology. If you are out and about, it is useful to know the current weather status and any fire warnings in summer. This may influence your choice of sites to visit.

Generally sites selected are reasonably close within a region. Walks are spread out across Victoria but are grouped by proximity so that you can visit multiple sites in a particular area. The book is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all sites – plenty of others have done that. What this book does offer is detailed, commented walks where you can combine activities, but with a bias towards the birds. It is a curated list of birding walks if you like.

You may wonder why some of the ‘big name’ sites are not in this book. They are covered in other guides. Instead I have chosen some of my favourite sites – generally they are less crowded but always have a range of different birds. Yes – it is my personal bias, but hopefully it will broaden your horizons. All of the sites I have walked many times over the years and watched them change over time. None are too demanding – I am over 70 and can still do all of them comfortably.

Regions

• Central

• North East

• East Gippsland

• North Central

• South West

• Mallee

• Northern Country

• Wimmera

• West and South Gippsland

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