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Ayr Creek Lagoon - Inverloch

Situated on the southern coast of Victoria within Bass Coast - an area renowned for its shifting sands[1] - is a naturally formed estuarine lagoon. The lagoon has formed since around 2015[2]. This recent natural coastal event is likely caused by the dynamic nature of the coastal geomorphology that is also responsible for the creation of Andersons Inlet, coupled with the increased shoreline and dune system erosion, now affecting most parts of the Victorian south coast. Consequently, the area now provides a natural haven for both resident and migratory wetland, shore and beach-nesting birds.[3]


The Ayr Creek lagoon, abuts and is fed by Ayr Creek[4] on the northern side - yet another haven for local native wildlife and birds. Periodically, due to tidal and storm surge fluctuations these water bodies are connected to the Bass strait ocean, via the lagoon when the sea breaks through to the lagoon. This seasonal event, is most evident in winter and spring, and usually results in observations of the annual eel migration from the mouth of the Ayr Creek into the lagoon with the young eels emerging on the ocean side, to catch the high tide and migrate to the sea.

However, on a daily basis more observable is the changing birdlife. Of the more than 75 bird species observed since 2015, most commonly seen are Little Pied Cormorants, Pacific Gulls, Little Black Cormorants, Eurasian Coots, Australian Pied Oyster Catchers, Red-capped Plover, Little and Great Egrets, White-faced Herons, Black Swans, the threatened Hooded Plover, along with migratory waders such as the Double-banded Plover from New Zealand and the Red-necked stint, visiting from Siberia. This last small bird, a wonder to behold when observed in 100's or thousands clustered, resting and sheltering from intense westerly winds on the warm sands bordering the lagoon. It’s even more spectacular when seen flocking en masse as they alight as one and circle and land again as a flock in a new spot. Other less frequent visitors include Great Crested Grebe and Musk Duck, and rare sightings for this area such as the Plumed Whistling Duck.


Birds breeding around the Ayr Creek lagoon include: the Hooded Plover, Red-capped Plover, Australian Pied Oystercatchers, Grey Teal, and Pacific Black Duck.


There are a number of access points to the Lagoon from Ramsay Boulevard, Ayr Creek Bridge and further along Surf Parade. Of course, the lagoon can be observed from the shoreline. So have a look next time you pass by. Remember to observe from a distance, and try not to disturb. And please keep your pooch on a lead! The Ayr Creek Lagoon and surrounds is a dog on leash area.


For a full list of bird species observed on the lagoon you can download the bird list (Last updated (5/3/2024)) in the file below. Please advise of any interesting sightings to: info@sgcs.com.au We are keen to keep the list up to date.


Ayr Creek Lagoon Bird List _5.3.24
.xlsx
Download XLSX • 20KB


[1] Link to Shifting Sands book - Liz Williams or Google Earth video of changes.

[2] Google Earth historical aerial records (See attached timeline "AYR CREEK LAGOON RE FORMATION")

[4] Link to Ayr Creek page

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