Tawny frogmouths and sandpipers – You Yangs & Port Phillip Bay coastal RAMSAR sites, Victoria


Dates18-19 October 2022
18-19 November 2022

(If the dates listed are not suitable, please contact our team [email protected] or call 1300 241 141 to enquire about alternative dates if you prefer to travel with your own private party)

(This tour can be combined with the Mallee and Outback Birds of Victoria and Mungo OR Birding & Wildlife Conservation Journey East Gippslandplease email to [email protected] or call 0413 560 210 to find out how)
Activity LevelEasy
DurationTwo full days, returning to Melbourne each day
(overnight accommodation in Melbourne not included)
PricesFrom $695 per person
(This tour can also be offered as a private charter with minimum 2 guests –contact us for a price.)
Group SizeMinimum 4, maximum 6 guests
Featured regionsYou Yangs Regional Park
Port Phillip Bay coastal RAMSAR sites


This two-day birding tour combines some of the best coastal wetland birding in Australia with fantastic dry woodland birding. During spring and summer you can expect to record over 100 bird species and also koala, kangaroo and wallaby. Along with recording the birds, mammals and reptiles you may see you will also have a unique opportunity to participate in a koala research and conservation project. On this trip, you will enjoy plenty of time for photography and observing behaviour where birding is not rushed. Your experienced bird guide will assist with identification and carry a spotting scope for easier viewing of waders and waterfowl.


Day 1: Tawny frogmouths, kangaroos and koalas (pick ups start from 8am)

Picks ups will commence from your individual Melbourne hotel from 8am. Please advise us which hotel you are staying at so we can arrange your pick up. Alternatively, why not let our friendly team help to recommend a hotel for your stay in Melbourne. 

Meet your guide and travel 45 minutes to the west of Melbourne to the bushland of You Yangs Regional Park. The park is home to a healthy population of wild koalas, which we research and monitor to ensure the best possible sightings. Your wildlife guide will introduce you to each koala as an individual, with a history, social life and family. You will learn all about these threatened mammals, and how to approach koalas quietly and watch them from a respectful distance. At one of five boneseed-removal sites we stop to remove some of these noxious weeds to improve koala habitat – part of the Make a Home for Koala Clancy project.

Look out for the dry woodland birds that are special to the You Yangs including tawny frogmouth – several pairs nest in the park, white-winged chough, wedge-tailed eagle, common bronzewing, spotted & striated pardalote, eastern & crimson rosella, red-rumped parrot, long-billed & little corella, sulphur-crested cockatoo, yellow-faced & New Holland honeyeaters, weebill, brown & yellow-rumped thornbill and laughing kookaburra. Occasionally we also see sacred kingfisher, rainbow bee-eater, Eastern spinebill, owlet-nightjar, Southern boobook and scarlet robin.

Leaving the You Yangs, travel to nearby Serendip Wetlands. Walk through the gum trees and across grasslands in search of wild mobs of eastern grey kangaroos, emus and Cape Barren geese. The billabong here is home to magpie geese, several duck species, stilts and spoonbills. Return to Melbourne at around 4pm.

Overnight accommodation in Melbourne is not included.

Picnic lunch with tea & coffee provided.

Day 2: Birding at Port Phillip Bay coastal RAMSAR sites.

Your wildlife guide will pick you up from your Melbourne hotel this morning and today we will visit the RAMSAR-listed Wetland of International Importance on the western side of Port Phillip Bay. These are regarded as some of Australia’s top birding locations and are a mosaic of lagoons, saltmarshes, waterways, swamps and both rocky and sandy shorelines. With this habitat diversity there is an incredible bird list of over 280 species. High numbers of waders, waterfowl and raptors visit or live at these sites.

Species seen on most trips include red-necked avocet, black-winged and banded stilt, chestnut and grey teal, pink-eared, musk and blue-billed duck, red-necked stint, sharp-tailed and curlew sandpiper, hoary-headed & Australasian grebe, red-capped plover, Australasian gannet, white-faced heron, royal & yellow-billed spoonbill, whiskered & crested tern, spotted & Baillon’s crake, black-tailed native hen, pied cormorant, zebra finch, striated fieldwren, singing honeyeater, swamp harrier, black-shouldered, whistling & black kite, brown falcon. We may also see brolga, Cape Barren goose, banded lapwing, red-kneed dotterel, red & great knot, bar-tailed godwit, marsh sandpiper, common greenshank and freckled duck.

The region is also home to large numbers of reptiles and frogs – on suitable days it is possible to see tiger snakes and to hear growling grass frogs.

Return to Melbourne around 3pm.

Picnic lunch with tea & coffee provided.


  • 2 x picnic lunches with tea & coffee
  • Transport and specialist guiding for days as outlined above 
  • Pick up and drop off to Melbourne
  • Experienced bird guide


  • Domestic flights 
  • Melbourne hotel accommodation
  • Guide services other than specified
  • Meals/beverages other than specified
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Personal expenditure.


Until further notice: from 1st October 2021 we will require that all participants on our tours must be fully vaccinated with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved vaccine against Covid-19 with the final dose administered no later than two weeks prior to departure. See terms and conditions for more details.

  • Accommodation and meals:  Strict hygiene conditions apply to the way accommodation is prepared for your stay and in the serving of meals.
  • Vehicles, hygiene & social distancing:  all activities will involve careful adherence to cleanliness. Hand sanitiser will be available in many locations and in all land-based vehicles and water-based vessels. Social distancing will always be an issue on board vehicles and vessels; it would be sensible for you to bring your own facemasks and hand sanitiser. We may not fill all seats in a vehicle to allow for social distancing.
  • The government approved Covid-19 Safety Plan is in place and all suppliers are Covid Clean accredited.


Want to know more or register your interest?

Send us an email to [email protected] or call 1300 241 141.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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