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Victoria

Fairywren
Superb Fairywren Malurus cyaneus ©Andy Walker Website

Victoria is possibly Australia's best-kept birding secret. This smallest mainland state boasts some terrific birds and a wide variety of habitats. From the eastern temperate rainforests to the mallee of the north-west over 490 bird species have been recorded in this state, which is about the size of the United Kingdom. This compares pretty well with Western Australia, for example, which is many times the size of Victoria yet has a list of just over 500 species. Victoria is a small state by Australian standards but the distances are still vast and it would be difficult to cover all the best birding sites in one visit. Here is a brief overview of the best spots.

If you’re visiting Victoria you're most likely to enter via Melbourne, Australia's second largest city. Those with limited time would be advised to visit Ferntree Gully National Park or Toolangi State Forest for Superb Lyrebird, Pink Robin, Pilotbird and other wet forest specialists. A visit to Werribee Treatment Plant is a must for any birder travelling to Victoria. This extensive area is one of Australia's premier birding destinations – numerous lagoons and mudflats play host to many species of wader, wildfowl and water birds.

Travelling east from Melbourne to East Gippsland some of the best birding can be found around Mallacoota. The forests and heath lands here differ markedly to those in other parts of the state as they enjoy a slightly milder climate. Some of the birds to search for here include Glossy Black Cockatoo, Ground Parrot and Eastern Bristlebird. Further north, one crosses the Great Dividing Range in order to bird one of Australia's most endangered habitats, the box-ironbark forests. Some of the better areas for birding include Rushworth State Forest, Whipstick and Kamarooka State Forests near Bendigo and the legendary Chiltern National Park. A suite of woodland birds specialises in these dry forests. Some of the more sought after species here are Turquoise Parrot, Spotted Quail-Thrush, Regent Honeyeater and Speckled Warbler amongst others.

South west of Melbourne, a trip along the Great Ocean Road to the Otway Ranges will be rewarded with spectacular scenery and some great birding. This area is probably the best place in Australia for the enigmatic Rufous Bristlebird. If you go all the way to Port Fairy you may be able to join a pelagic trip on which many species of albatross, petrels, prions and other seabirds can be observed – arguably the best pelagic trip in the world. Up in the north west of the state the mallee is the biggest draw with a number of spectacular or hard-to-find species restricted to this habitat. These include Malleefowl, Regent Parrot, Red-lored Whistler, Mallee Emu-Wren and Striated Grasswren. The best parks to visit are Little Desert, Wyperfeld, Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Sunset national Parks.

Top Sites

**Latest Sightings

Sightings

Click 'Get Birds Seen' to see a map with map pins on locations of the latest recorded sightings of rare or unusual birds.

*See places other birders go Birding...

WebBirder Hot Spots

Contributor

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 469

State Bird - Helmeted Honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops

Useful Reading

Fieldguides, CDs etc.

For general guides to Australia as a whole please see the Fatbirder Australia page

Forums & Mailing Lists

Birdline Victoria

Mailing List

Birdline Victoria is a service for birdwatchers to report and find out about rare or unusual bird sightings in Victoria, Australia. The information that we receive here will be used not only by interested birdwatchers but also in the preparation of such documents as the Victorian Bird Report.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders their area…

Firetail Birdwatching Tours

Facebook Page

Firetail Birdwatching Tours, operated by Simon Starr, is Victoria’s longest running specialist bird guiding company. A wide range of itineraries are offered from half a day to over a week, specialising in birding and nature tours across the entire state of Victoria and adjacent New South Wales. …

Paul Hackett Tours

Tour Operator

Are you a birder travelling to Melbourne, Australia? Come along on a birding tour and experience some of the best birding sites within the Melbourne area. Explore a variety of habitats and watch your birdlist grow. Travel from the city to the shore, encounter shorebirds and waterfowl, bushbirds and more…

The Melbourne Birder

Tour Operator

Guided birding tours in the Greater Melbourne region - We offer a variety of bird watching tours encompassing the broad range of habitats found in south-central Victoria. Birdlife in this region is prolific, varied and exciting, and coupled with some of southern Australia's most magnificent scenery only a short distance away from the Melbourne CBD, a visually stimulating and satisfying nature-based experience can be expected…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2012 [11 November] - Janene Luff - Forests of Chiltern

Report

..We put our vehicle through its paces beside the railway track finding Crested Shrike-tits. Frog's Hollow, our first stop in Chiltern's Forests produced Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters, a flowering Mugga Ironbark had lots of Little Lorikeets and a tailless White-browed Babbler, one Diamond Firetail, lots of Reed Warblers, Brown Treecreepers by the dozen, the ever present Rufous Songlark in very lush grass and carpets of yellow Paper Daisies…

2012 [12 December] - Peter Waanders - SA, Victoria and Tasmania

Report PDF

…Birds were abundant throughout and the total tally was just short of 300 species. Highlights included Painted Snipe, Inland Dotterel, Plains-wanderer, Scarlet-chested Parrot, Swift Parrot, Gibberbird, Mallee Emu-wren and all 12 Tasmanian endemics…

2013 [01 January] - Philip Maher

Report

…We started off birding in the hills near Lancefield hoping for red-browed treecreeper, which I have seen there on many occasions but this time there was no sign of them. Best birds were yellow-faced, white-naped and white-eared honeyeaters, white-throated treecreeper and spotted pardalote. We moved on to Mt Ida near Heathcote for lunch, getting assorted thornbills and a lovely male scarlet robin…

2013 [11 November] - Simon Starr - Off with the Birds

PDF Report

This round trip from Melbourne with a group of 6 birders from Taiwan was organised and led by Simon Starr of Firetail Birdwatching Tours, Melbourne, Australia…

2014 [11 November] - Peter Waanders - Great Southern Tour

PDF Report

Our annual 'Great Southern Tour' was yet again a resounding success with 288 bird species recorded. Unlike previous years, there was no Tasmania extension in 2014, but this will be offered again on our next tour. We started in Adelaide (SA) and finished in Melbourne (Vic)...

2015 [04 April] - Brian Clasper - Melbourne & Southern Victoria

Report

The commoner birds we became acquainted with Australasian Magpie, Australian Raven, Silver gull, Common Mynah, Magpie Lark. An evening walk back to the Flat and we saw the Common Bushtail Possum illuminated by the street lights in those avenues with short trees.

Tim Dolby's bird trip report site

Report

Birds and birding in Alice Springs, Cairns, Chiltern, Croajingolong, Darwin, Flinders Ranges, Gluepot, Grampians, Great Barrier Reef, Gulf of Carpentaria, Hattah, Kakadu, Lamington, Little Desert, Murray-Sunset, Simpson Desert, Strzelecki Track, Sturt NP, Terrick Terrick and Wyperfeld…

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Lake Charles Retreat - Yarra valley

Accommodation

Self-contained accommodation right on the edge of the lake…

Little Desert Nature Lodge

Accommodation

Experience and learn of the natural beauty of this vast Australian wilderness while staying at the renowned Little Desert Lodge. Whimpey Reichart`s personalised desert tours and educational resources ensure a lifetime memory…

St Arnaud Guesthouse

Accommodation

We offer 'home away from home' accommodation in the heart of Botanical South Yarra. Our large living areas and farmhouse style kitchen are fully equipped for your comfort and relaxation…

Strathvea

Accommodation

Nestled in five acres of English gardens and surrounded by native bushland and state rainforest, Strathvea is only an hour from Melbourne. We are a place where guests are totally pampered and every day is relaxed and carefree. Bush walking, bird watching…

Wide Horizons Bed & Breakfast

Accommodation

Native birds frequent the garden and the nearby Maroondah Dam, within walking distance. Close by is the Healesville Sanctuary with its unique display of Australian native animals and birds.

Organisations

BirdLife Australia - Victoria

Website

The state of Victoria contains a large proportion of BirdLife Australia's branches. Victoria is located in the south east corner of Australia and bounded by the Murray River in the north, South Australia in the west and Bass Strait and the southern Oceans in the south….

BirdLife Ballarat

Information

BirdLife Ballarat hold meetings on the 2nd Tuesday of the month except January. The Branch meets at the Primary Industries Training Centre, Cnr. Gillies & Gregory Streets, Wendouree at 7.30 pm. There is usually a guest speaker at our meetings. Our AGM is held in April each year - April 10, 2012….

BirdLife Bass Coast

Information

Our primary concern is for conservation of birds and bird habitat. Our region covers most of the Bass Coast Shire extending from the Western Port coastline of West Gippsland to Cape Liptrap and north to the Strezlecki Ranges and includes Phillip Island and French Island. A diversity of habitats is covered on our outings, enabling us to view a wide range of species…

BirdLife Bayside

Information

Although BirdLife Bayside is based in Beaumaris (Melbourne) as that is where our meetings are held, we range far and wide on our outings and our membership is not geographically based…

BirdLife Bellarine Peninsula

Information

Birdlife Bellarine is a small group of bird enthusiasts dedicated to bird observing. The group draws membership primarily from the Bellarine Peninsula, but also has members from as far afield as Melbourne…

BirdLife East Gippsland

Information

BirdLife East Gippsland is a regional branch of BirdLife Australia, promoting the appreciation, understanding and conservation of birds and their habitats…

BirdLife Echuca District

Information

BirdLife Echuca District is a cross-border Branch that aims to serve approximately 120 members who reside in southern New South Wales (including Shire of Murray, Deniliquin, Shire of Conargo, Barham and surrounding areas) or northern Victoria, (including Campaspe Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Gunnawarra Shire, Loddon Shire and surrounding areas….

BirdLife Hamilton

Information

We embrace central western Victoria with members and outings covering the following areas Merino, Carapook, Konongwootong, Caddens Flat, Casterton, Nareen, Harrow, the southern edge of Rocklands Reservoir, Victoria Valley & Southern Grampians, Glenthompson, Caramut, Hawkesdale, Willatook, Orford, Hotspur, and Digby….

BirdLife Horsham

Information

Horsham branch has outings in the local area on the first Sunday of each month except January…

BirdLife Melbourne

Information

BirdLife Melbourne, the Melbourne Branch of BirdLife Australia has resulted from the coming together of MELBOCA (Melbourne Branch of BOCA) and the Melbourne Members of BA Vic Group, following the merger of BA and BOCA…

BirdLife Mildura

Information

Birdlife Mildura is situated in the northwest corner of Victoria. We are fortunate to have a range of habitats to explore from riverine red gum and black box forests with billabongs to shallow, saline drainage lakes and vast areas of mallee including the Murray-Sunset National Park…

BirdLife Mornington Peninsula

Information

Located on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula branch of BirdLife Australia was formed in 1983 as the “Peninsula Bird Observers Club”. In 1985 the club became affiliated with BOCA as the (Mornington) Peninsula branch known as PENBOC…

Birdlife Murray Goulburn

Webpage

The Murray Goulburn Branch of BirdLife Australia is based in the Shepparton region in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, 180 km north of Melbourne.

BirdLife Nhill

Information

BirdLife Nhill (previously the Bird Observers Club) was formed in 1985 and was a branch of Bird Observation and Conservation Australia. Field trips within driving distance of Nhill are held almost every month at week-ends, and once or twice a year we have a week-end “camp-out” to somewhere further away or interstate where different birds are to be seen…

BirdLife Ovens and Murray

Information

BirdLife Ovens and Murray is a branch providing local activities for BirdLife members in the Ovens and Murray region of south-eastern NSW and north-eastern Victoria…

BirdLife South East SA

Information

Membership consists of BirdLife Australia members in south-eastern South Australia and south-western Victoria. Close links on projects and activities are shared with Friends of Shorebirds South East for this same area…

BirdLife Warrnambool

Information

BirdLife Warrnambool (formerly Sou’west Victoria Branch of BOCA) was formed in 1998 and while a majority of members reside in or close to Warrnambool membership extends across south-western Victoria from Timboon in the east to the South Australian state border in the west…

BirdLife Werribee

Webpage

BirdLife Werribee started life in the mid 1990's as the Werribee Wagtails - a group of birders based in Werribee (near the world famous Western Treatment Plant). The group became affiliated with BOCA and following the merger with Birds Australia then became an affiliate of BirdLife Australia. In early 2014 we decided to apply for membership as a full branch of BirdLife Australia and that request was approved in August of that year.

BirdLife Yarra Valley

Information

BirdLife Yarra Valley is a branch providing local activities for BirdLife members in Healesville and the Yarra Valley…

Central Gippsland Bird Studies Group

Website

Lake Wellington Project Banding Sites etc…

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria

Website

The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria (FNCV) was founded in 1880, and continues as a vigorous and practical advocate of conservation and the study of natural history to this day. The Club has over 600 members and publishes the bimonthly magazine The Victorian Naturalist. This site describes the special interest groups within the FNCV, the clubs program of meetings and excursions, includes a report of recent meetings and an outline of ongoing research activities…

Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater

Website

Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater formed in May 1989 when the Helmeted Honeyeater population reached a critically low level of 50 birds…

Murray Goulburn

Information

The Murray Goulburn Branch of BirdLife Australia is based in the Shepparton region in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, 180 km north of Melbourne…

Victorian Ornithological Research Group Inc

Facebook Page

The Victorian Ornithological Research Group (VORG) is a small project-focused ornithological group of amateurs and professionals based in Victoria, Australia. It was formed in 1962. It publishes a bulletin, VORG Notes. …

Victorian Wader Study Group

Information

The Victorian Wader Study Group (VWSG) was formally constituted in 1978, however fieldwork actually began in 1975. The VWSG's primary objective is to conduct a long-term comprehensive study of waders and terns throughout Victoria. The VWSG is a non-profit organisation and is made up of 100+ volunteers.

Observatories

Rotamah Island Bird Observatory

Observatory

Including Gippsland Bird Research - Rotamah Island is in the Lakes National Park. Bird and other Wildlife is abundant near the Observatory and walking tracks lead from the Observatory to all parts of the island and the 90 mile beach…

Museums

Museum Victoria

http://www.museum.vic.gov.au/forest/animals/birds.html

The site contains some species accounts and photographs…

Reserves

Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park

Information

Satellite View

Situated in north-central Victoria almost on the New South Wales border, Chiltern National Park is one of the best known birding spots in the state. With good reason, too - this 4300ha park is absolutely superb…

Dandenong Ranges National Park

Information

Satellite View

In 1987 Sherbrooke Forest, Doongalla Reserve and Ferntree Gully National Park were combined to form Dandenong Ranges National Park. Covering 3215 hectares, the park plays an important role in protecting a population of famous lyrebirds and other fauna, as well as protecting the forests and fern gullies of the Ranges. Since June 1997 Olinda State Forest and the Mt Evelyn Forest have also been included in Dandenong Ranges National Park…

Greater Bendigo National Park

Information

Satellite View

The Greater Bendigo National Park is a national park located in the Loddon Mallee region of Victoria, Australia. The 17,020-hectare (42,100-acre) national park was created in 2002 from the former Whipstick State Park, Kamarooka State Park, One Tree Hill Regional Park, Mandurang State Forest and the Sandhurst State Forest...

Little River Earth Sanctuary

Information

Satellite View

Little River Earth Sanctuary in Victoria offers a truly unique wildlife experience. Join us on a guided walk and discover endangered animals in their natural habitat, as it was 200 years ago, before European settlement. A visit to Little River Earth Sanctuary is to totally immerse yourself in a quality Australian bush experience…

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

Website

Satellite View

Moonlit Sanctuary is only 50 minutes south-east of central Melbourne, at the top of the Mornington Peninsula, and on the way to the Penguins on Phillip Island. Melbourne’s award winning wildlife park, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park invites you to explore 10 hectares of bushland, meeting endangered species, feeding kangaroos and wallabies, petting koalas and enjoying encounters with colourful birds, reptiles, dingoes and many other animals.

Murray-Sunset National Park

Information

Satellite View

The Murray-Sunset National Park is just about my favourite place in Victoria, especially as we have no tropical rainforest here (you cannot have everything). It is located in an area known as the mallee (for the dominant species of Eucalypt here) in northwest Victoria…

National Parks

Website

Parks Victoria is a statutory authority, created by the Parks Victoria Act 1998 and reporting to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water,The Hon Lisa Neville MLA and Minister for Ports; Minister for Roads and Road Safety, The Hon Luke Donellan MLA.

Rotamah Island & Lakes National Park

Information

Satellite View

Rotamah Island is in the Lakes National Park. Bird and other Wildlife is abundant near the Observatory and walking tracks lead from the Observatory to all parts of the island and the 90-mile beach. The homestead provides very comfortable accommodation and facilities, and is an excellent base for a wide range of activities to suit all ages and interests…

Rushworth State Forest

Information

Satellite View

Rushworth SF is about 1.5 hours by car from my home town of Melbourne and one of the largest areas of box-ironbark forest left in the state - a pretty woeful state of affairs…

Terrick Terrick National Park

Information

Satellite View

Terrick Terrick is a small national park located in the North-central region of Victoria, about 100km north of Bendigo…

Yaringa Marine National Park

Information

Satellite View

Yaringa Marine National Park covers 980 hectares between the mainland and Quail Island Nature Conservation Reserve, about 9 kilometres southwest of Tooradin. The area comprises saltmarsh, mangroves, sheltered intertidal mudflats, subtidal soft sediments and tidal channels. The mudflats within the Marine National Park are of national significance primarily as a feeding habitat for wader birds and other water birds. Many water birds and wader birds roost among the mangroves and nearby coastal woodlands…

Blogs

Ben Cruachan

Blog

Duncan's blog about the nature of Gippsland, Australia. Birds, plants, insects, reptiles, and anything else that takes my fancy…

Ian Smissen - A passion for birds…

Blog

I live on the Bellarine Peninsula--a great place for birds--so you'll see a lot of sites around the Bellarine and Geelong region (I've now started a Birds of the Bellarine Peninsula page on this blog as my bird list for the region) but I will include locations from wider afield and interstate if work, family and other commitments allow me to travel more widely…

Natural Newstead

Blog

Observations of flora, fauna and landscape in central Victoria…

Pete's Flap

Blog

The musings, photos and trip reports of a late-rising, fledgling birder (Peter Shanley) from Melbourne, Australia…

The Big Dip

BLOG

James Mustafa's BLOG - a birder, wildlife enthusiast and self-confessed twitcher from Melbourne, Australia, who has been birding, exploring nature and appreciating wildlife all his life. This website is a culmination of those experiences, with the primary focus angled towards birdlife and twitching in Australia.

Other Links

Birding in Gippsland

Website

Featuring birding in Gippsland, flora and fauna, local history, the area in which we live, photographs, and much more…

Birding in South West Victoria

Website

Steve Clark's birding page highlighting the birds and best birding localities in the Western District of Victoria, Australia. Victoria's Western District has a wide range of habitats within a 100 km radius. While much of the land has been cleared for agriculture the area is well endowed with excellent national parks and other reserves. The Grampians ranges, the saline and freshwater lakes, the volcanic plains, the rugged coastline and the proximity to the seabird-rich waters of the continental shelf edge add up to a diversity of habitats and a richness in bird species the equal of any other region in Victoria.

Birding Victoria

Website

The Birding Victoria website aims to assist visiting birders in finding south-eastern Australia’s special birds whilst also offering full details of potential tours. A huge amount of information is listed on birding sites and individual species, plus there are links to a wide range of relevant websites and resources….

Eremaea Birds

Website

Welcome To Eremaea Birds - Your personal bird list organiser and global atlas combined…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Cheryl Ridge

Gallery

Great bird pictures from this Australian photographer…

Photographer - David Kleinert

Gallery

An excellent photographer with a penchant for spiders as well as birds and other fauna…

Photographer - Greg Oakley Wildpix

http://gregoakleywildpix.com

Bird pictures…

Photographer - Peter Fuller

Gallery

Brilliant photos and photographic trip reports…

Photographers - Sarah Koschak & Andrew Skeoch

Gallery

Gallery with some truly stunning photographs… from Listening Earth