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Bird Trail 4

Birdwatching Australia


Birdwatching Australia

Chiltern, the Birdwatching Capital of Australia



Bird Trail Number 3

Wetlands Tour


Having Explored Lake Anderson, head to the Wetlands of the Chiltern Valley.

Here is some of the best birdwatching in Australia

From the main crossroad in town go west on the Rutherglen Rd (Conness St). The road swings to the right then at 0.5 km from the crossroad turn left into High St on the road to Chiltern Valley. Follow this westwards out of town and across Black Dog Creek.

Shortly after the creek crossing, billabongs appear on both sides of the road which are filled following heavy winter and spring rains. Stop along the road or continue on slowly to 2.7 km from the crossroads. Here a local landholder has deepened a wetland complex on the right, making it ideal for birdwatching.

Feel free to walk along the road and look in but please do not jump the fence and enter the private land. Look here for Japanese Snipe, Baillon’s Crake and Buff-banded Rail on the margins of the wetlands and in wet springs look in the Red Gums for nesting Australian White Ibis and White-necked Heron.

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Left is the Japanese Snipe, centre is Baillon's Crake, and right is the White Necked Herron.


A few metres on turn right into Pit Rd and go 300m along the road till you reach "Number 1 Dam Picnic Area", an outlying part of the Chiltern National Parkand.  This is one of the most excellent birdwatching locations in Australia.

Look on the dam for waterbirds, look in the Red Gums amongst the numerous White-plumed Honeyeaters for Regent Honeyeater which occasionally use this area. In private land across the paddock to the north is another billabong which often has a different array of waterbirds.

Backtrack down Pit Rd to the bitumen, turn right and continue westwards past the other end of Number 1 Dam. Half a kilometre from Pit Rd take the right fork into Chiltern Valley Rd. Look for the family of Pied Butcherbirds which live along the roadside here as well as more common farmland birds such as Red-rumped Parrot, Galah and Eastern Rosella.

Chiltern Valley often has many raptors overhead including Peregrine Falcon, Little Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australian Hobby, Brown Falcon and Whistling Kite so keep an eye to the sky. This makes these locations among the very best birdwatching Australia has to offer.


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Left is the Pied Butcherbird, centre the Peregrine Falcon, and right is the Whistling Kite.


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Pictured above left is the Little Eagle, centre is the Wedge Tailed Eagle and right is the Brown Falcon.


Park or prop your bikes 2.7 km from the turn-off onto Chiltern Valley Rd., at the National Park gate (opposite the memorial to Major Mitchell, the first European through the area in 1836).

This is Number 2 Dam, another outlier of the National Park. This is the largest wetland in the district and an excellent site for birdwatching in Australia, and is well worth a thorough look. Highlights are likely to include White-breasted Woodswallow and Dollarbird over the water in warmer months, and numbers of cormorants, egrets, ibis, Australian Darter, Australian Pelican, ducks and dotterels on the water and dam edges.

The Red Gum and Yellow Box woodlands on the north-western side are dominated by aggressive White-plumed Honeyeater and Noisy Miner, but species such as Rainbow Bee-eaters, White-Browed Babbler, Diamond Firetail and Crested Shrike-tit are often easily seen here.

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Left is the Dollarbird, centre is the Rainbow Bee Eater, and right is the Diamond Firetail.


BIRDWATCHERS PLEASE NOTE- in the spring a large colony of Australian White Ibis, and sometimes other colonial nesters, nest in the standing and fallen Red Gums on the western boundary of the dam.

Undue disturbance of these birds could cause death or distress to nestlings. The whole dam can be safely viewed from points on the shore closest to the gate. Please stay away from the western shoreline if there is any evidence of active communally nesting waterbirds.


Below is the Birdwatching Australia Map for Chiltern.


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Birdwatching Australia Around Chiltern's Forests and Wetlands

Page 1   Tour 1     Tour 2   Tour 3  
Tour 4  Notes Listing 1 Listing 2



Endangered Australian Birds

Regent Honeyeater Scarlet Chested Parrot
Bush Stone Curlew Square Tailed Kite
Swift Parrot Turquoise Parrot




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