Feathered Encounters

One of the great pleasures of cruising the Bass Strait Islands is the bird life. Many of the islands have been declared Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas.

Penguins at King Island

Little Penguins are adorable. They are the smallest species of penguins in the world, measuring less than 40 cm in height and weighing only a kilo. If tourists pay a small fortune to see them coming ashore at Phillip Island, we prefer to observe them truly in the wild, and Bass Strait Islands are often a great spot to see them returning from their day’s foraging at sea. For our last night at King Island, we decided to watch the Little Penguins assemble at the back of the shore break and waddle up the beach to their burrows on dusk – our own private penguin parade, and best of all without the crowds!  Aren’t they cute?

Albatross Island

Yesterday, on the sail over from King Island, we stopped at Albatross Island, an islet which is part of the Hunter Group. When we stay “stop”, we did not anchor nor landed there, but we brought the boat quite close to the cliffs on the deeper side of the island. As the name suggests Albatross Island is a rookery for the Shy Albatross, one of only three in Tasmanian waters and in the world. This is a very special place for this threatened specie and a rare opportunity to observe these majestic birds in their habitat. But it was hard getting good shots with the boat moving a lot despite the calm conditions. Here is a taste of what we saw.

Now in the Hunter Group

Lying off the North West of Tasmania are a group of half a dozen or so islands called the Hunter Group, the two biggest being Hunter and Three Hummock islands.  Here is the map of this next leg of our voyage, only a 30 mile passage from Grassy.

leg-6

We anchored last night at a lovely cove called Spiers Nook on Three Hummock Island. As the wind shifts and strengthens over the next few days, we will move around to another anchorage on Three Hummock, then possibly to Cave Bay on Hunter Island to hide from yet another bad blow… more red and orange nastiness on the weather maps! No fisherman’s mooring this time, we are using our trusted Manson Supreme anchor!

6 thoughts on “Feathered Encounters

  1. Yea, you are having a great time. The penguins and Albis are beaut. Glad u have some really lovely safe anchorages. Weekend of presentation went well. Out walking Pepa.

    • The Hunters are beautiful. It is nice to have a few warm sunny days before he next big blow. Enjoy walking with your cute doggy. Good exercise!

  2. Penguins and Albatrosses (Albatri?) are really special. Do Mutton birds fly back to the Island at night as well? (-like at Phillip Island)

    • Definitely albatrosses… And yes the Shearwaters fly back in large numbers. They share the same territory as Penguins at Grassy. Too hard to get a shot of them at night, but we saw them rafting up during the day on our passage to Albatross Island.

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