American River and Pelican Lagoon
American River and its surrounding area has some wonderful birding spots. ‘The River’ is home to a flock of Glossy-black Cockatoos, boasts both resident and migratory shorebirds and has bush in and around the town that abounds with birds.
When there are very high tides Pied Oystercatchers will often take shelter on the pasture which you will see on your left as you approach the town. On occasions, two hundred or more have been seen. Cape Barren Geese also frequent this area.
Along the shores of Pelican Lagoon and the town’s foreshore; ducks, swans, grebes, herons, egrets, spoonbills, pelicans and oystercatchers are prolific. In spring and summer look out for Common Greenshank and the odd Whimbrel or Eastern Curlew.
The bird hide at the CFS station is a great spot for shorebirds and crakes and rails have been seen feeding in the creek which runs alongside it. Stand under the pine trees across the road in front of the Post Office, crane your neck and be rewarded with views of roosting Nankeen Night Herons.
Just before dusk Glossy-black Cockatoos can usually be seen and heard in the area uphill from the town hall. During the day they often feed in the casuarinas along the ‘Scenic Walking Trail’ which starts at the northern end of the town. Golden Whistlers, Scarlet Robins and White-browed Scrubwrens are amongst the bush birds which inhabit this area. A soaring Wedge-tailed Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle or an Eastern Osprey is a common sight along this trail.
Pennington Bay on the south coast is just about my favourite place in the world and is great for Hooded Plovers and for the very lucky, the Southern Emu-wren. During and after a blow, gannets and albatross can often be seen out at sea. Flour Cask Bay also has some great birds and wonderful coastal scenery.