Phillip Island

???????????????????????????????Well, my next round of edits for Billabong Bend have arrived, and with a short deadline, it’s time to get stuck in. Pilyara’s peaceful mountains are very conducive to writing. However for a change, I sometimes spend time down at the coast – at my brother’s lovely, large house at Phillip Island, just one street from the ocean.

Penguins 2My brother Rod is a keen photographer and bird watcher. He lives in the right place, because Phillip Island and the Bass Coast are home to more than two hundred bird species. Local wetlands support a variety of migratory birds including Bar-tailed godwits, Curlew sandpipers, Whimbrels and Red-necked stints. The southern and western coasts of the island lie within the Phillip Island Important Bird Area, so proclaimed by BirdLife International because of its importance in supporting significant populations of Little Penguins (aka Fairy Penguins), Short-tailed Shearwaters (aka Muttonbirds) and Pacific Gulls.

SealThe island also has a Koala Conservation Centre, and hosts the largest colony of fur seals in Australia (up to 16,000) But you don’t have to take a boat to Seal Rocks to see them. Here’s a photo of one cruising round the local jetty, just metres from my brother’s house. How lucky am I to have the best of both worlds on my doorstep – Pilyara’s tall-timbered mountains, and Phillip Island not much more than an hour away. What a beautiful country to live in …