|King Island and a rough idea of where I drove on the island. Map thanks to Google Earth|
King Island lies about halfway between Victoria and Tasmania and for Australian birders it has two major draws. First, it has a number of races of Tasmanian birds that are endemic to the island and for those of us who care about such things they need to be found and seen. Second, on King Island there are three introduced species that are hard or impossible to find anywhere else in Australia and if one keeps an Australian life list they, at some point, need to go to King Island.
|View of the bright green pastures of the island|
|The fishing harbour at Currie|
|Common Pheasant. They may just be an introduced bird but they are very beautiful|
|Both the pheasant and peacock were very shy and hard to get near but very common. All three introduced species could easily be found in one day.|
Apart from birds King Island is also known for organically grown and produced beef and cheese. I tried to find a place to have dinner that served King Island beef but the two places I found that may have served it both closed before 6 pm. Maybe the Golf Club served local beef but I didn't try there. Local cheese can be purchased at very good prices when their shop is open, between 10 am and 4:30 pm, which is not good when one is dashing all over the island looking for birds. Ah well, I am sure most tourists find the time OK and not many birders go to the island so, no complaint.
|Two Tom Turkeys showing off to the females|
I stayed at the Island Breeze Motel which was really nice and has beautiful views from every room. One interesting thing I found though was, while everyone is very friendly and giving the discrete "two-finger-lifted-from-the-steering wheel-outback-style-wave" to other drivers is almost mandatory, if you ask directions to birding sites like parks and reserves many locals have no idea where they are. I highly recommend getting all your information sorted before you go.
|There are literally thousands of Wallabies on the island and care needs to be taken when driving|
For birders in the future Greylag Geese have also been free ranging and self supporting on the island for many years and will possibly, one day, be added to the Australian list, as have the other introduced species on the island. It will require a BARC submission of course, and someone willing to prepare one. The last BARC submission for the Greylag Geese on Norfolk Island failed to pass by one vote.
|The old King Island Dairy factory|
|West coast beach|
|Black Currawong, race parvior|
|Young Elephant Seal "hauled out" on a beach near Currie.|