Easter 2016 I went to Hopetoun in the semi-desert Mallee region of north-western Victoria. This was a part of the state I hadn't been to before and there was great expectation to see a number of new species of birds for the first time. Despite the lateness of the season I added Shy Heathwren, Blue Bonnet, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo, White-backed Swallow and White-browed Treecreeper to my lifetime birdlist. Views of Hopetoun and surrounds are here.

I enjoyed a free camping site on the shore of the freshwater Lake Lascelles and woke each morning to beautiful bird song. The black-fronted dotterel and white-faced heron were regular visitors to the shoreline less than 10m from my tent. Wyperfeld National Park is less than an hour's drive from Hopetoun and I felt a sense of adventure driving on the sandy tracks through the dry and sparsely vegetated terrain. The region certainly warrants a return in Spring when the flowers are out and birds are in fine voice.


Black-fronted Dotterel Blue Bonnet Chestnut-rumped Thornbill Common Starling (juv-adult phase?) Galah Major Mitchell's Cockatoos (one enjoying a good preen)
Restless Flycatcher Ringneck Shy Heathwren Southern Whiteface Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater Striated Pardalote (race substriatis)
White-backed Swallow White-browed Treecreeper White-faced Heron White-winged Chough


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Images Russell Cockman