Point Addis: Hey Rufous Bristlebird

Coming from the east, Point Addis is the first stop along Great Ocean Road. Surpisingly for such a small little area, it provides all sorts of outdoor entertainment: ocean cliff views, a sandy beach, and great birding. Point Addis is so nice that it would be a great place to go even without any birds.

Let’s take a look at the great features of Point Addis:

1. A Superb Lookout Point

This lookout point has a lovely walk to the edge where you can see pure ocean.

Just look at that inviting view! Photo by Jason Polak.

Some of the sights here and at the nearby Airey’s Inlet Coastal Reserve already give a pretty great sample of some the Great Ocean Road views. The lookout point is reputed to be a great seabird-watching area. As a matter of fact, we did see Black-browed Albatross, our first albatross! It was not easy to see much detail, and you might need a spotting scope or a 600mm lens to get a good view. The succulent scrub pictured is a good place to see New Holland Honeyeater as well. The star of the birding show is of course the Rufous Bristlebird, one of only three birds in the family Dasyornithidae in the world, and all three are in Australia!

Us: Hey Rufous Bristlebird, we woke up at 7AM for you! Rufous Bristlebird: Yum yum yum. Photo by Jason Polak.

The Rufous Bristlebird (Dasyornis broadbenti) is one of three Bristlebirds (family Dasyornithidae). They only occur in Australia and feed on invertebrates, seeds, and fruits.

2. A Quiet Sandy Beach

The lookout point offers stairs to go down to the beach. Like so many beaches on Great Ocean Road, the beaches are usually nearly or completely empty offering serene and peaceful views of the ocean and the waves. This particular beach also is the start of Surf Coast walk, which goes all the way down to Anglesea. Although there are fewer birds around here, the views are great and definitely worth a look.

3. The Nature Trail/Ironbark Track

Ironbark Forest remnants at the Point Addis walk

This is a really neat forest walking-only track. It is a wetter Eucalypt Ironbark forest, changing into coastland scrub farther towards the coast. The air here smells fresh and the forest is alive with birdsong. My favourite is the nature trail, which is the loop part of the track starting at the more notherly carpark. Common birds here include Eastern Yellow and Scarlet Robin, Galah, Crimson Rosella, Eastern Spinebill, and Dusky Woodswallow.

The Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis), one of 21 species in the family Petroicidae that can be regularly seen in Australia, is a common and pretty sight at Point Addis. Photo by Jason Polak.

We’ve also seen Crescent and White-naped Honeyeater, though I think those might be less common. I was lucky enough to spot the Red-browed Finch once. We did not see the Gang-gang Cockatoo in the late summer on our first trip, but in the winter our second trip yield four chattering creaky Gang-gangs busy eating and cutting small branches high in a tree. This is also the only location at which we saw the Bassian Thrush.

Bassian Thrush (Zoothera lunulata)

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