July 1, 2010

Flinders Island Salted Mutton-bird

After enjoying a large fat salted mutton-bird for lunch today Rowena can not wait to go mutton birding again, still 9 months to go. The mutton-bird or “short-tailed shearwater”,  is a yearly visitor to Flinders Island, Tasmania. Flying in around September the adult birds prepare their burrow, mate and lay their single egg in that burrow, in the many rockeries scattered around the 52 islands in the Furneaux Group.  The official amateur mutton-bird season covers three weekends during late March to early April with the commercial season lasting slightly longer. Three generations of our Nicholls family head over to Little Dog Island each season to gather our mutton birds for the year. Mutton birding is Rowena favorite activity on Flinders Island, not just because of the delicious taste of a freshly barbequed bird (it’s an acquired taste) but the journey over to the island in the boat and the family working together as a team to catch, carry and clean the birds to take home. It is always a great day out and gives everyone a real sense of achievement. Mitchell had his first trip over to Little Dog Island when he was just 5 weeks old and hopefully over the years he will grow to enjoy it as much as the rest of the family.

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