Less than an hour south of Gerringong is the Hyams Beach trail, a walkway constructed with birdwatching in mind. If you know your Easter Spinebills from your New Holland Honey-Eaters, this is an excellent place to see them.
Birders hoping to sight large birds of prey won’t be disappointed either, with white-bellied sea eagles, and whistling kites often spotted soaring high above the forest canopy. As well as these, there’s the satin Bower, famed for its highly complex courtship ritual which, if you want to see it, will most likely require your hiding out in the bush for several weeks or months, disguised as a tree.
To save time, it’s well worth watching Bowerbirds: The Art of Seduction, written and produced by David Attenborough which reveals much of the secret lives and of these astonishing birds.
A few miles up from Jervis Bay, north and south of the Shoalhaven River entrance, Seven Mile Beach and Comerong Island Nature Reserve, respectively, are areas noted for their pristine littoral rainforest. This fragile environment provides vital habitat for critically endangered migratory wading birds, including different species of plovers, oystercatchers, and sandpipers. In addition, in winter the estuary is home to as many as 6000 swans, with cormorants, ibis, egrets, and herons also residing here.
For larger groups keen to feast on these great sights, Chittick Lodge is the ideal base from which to conduct expeditions. Don’t forget your binoculars!