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Seven of us rugged up and ventured up into the Otway National Park behind Lorne to Sharps Camping Area and Sheoak Picnic Area. (Please note that Parks Victoria have permanently closed Sharps Campground as of 22/12/2022).

It was a very quiet day with few birds calling and barely a leaf moving in the forest. We only counted 15 species across the two locations.

The attention of the group soon turned to fungi as there were interesting species everywhere we looked.

Suddenly, on the nature walk at Sheoak Picnic Area, there was movement and we all got our binoculars onto something like a grey shrike-thrush or a female golden whistler. Except it wasn’t either of those. None of us could identify this bird which popped out of the vegetation long enough for us to get a good description and a couple of photos.

Olive Whistler

Over morning tea we put our new book The Australian Bird Guide (Menkhorst et al, CSIRO. 2017) to use and identified it as a male Olive Whistler.

Male Olive Whistler
Male Olive Whistler

This was a new bird for everyone in the group. The guide described it as ‘a rather drab, thickset whistler of cool, wet forest…’ which summed it up rather well we thought.

Birds identified on this walk:

Sheoak Picnic Ground

  1. Laughing Kookaburra
  2. Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
  3. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  4. White-throated Treecreeper
  5. Spotted Pardalote
  6. White-browed Scrubwren
  7. Brown Thornbill
  8. Australian Magpie
  9. Grey Shrikethrush
  10. Olive Whistler
  11. Golden Whistler


Sharps Camping Area

  1. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  2. White-throated Treecreeper
  3. Superb Fairywren
  4. Crescent Honeyeater
  5. Golden Whistler
  6. Forest Raven
  7. Eastern Yellow Robin

Margaret Lacey