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Beaches In and Around Albany - Middelton Beach

Middleton Beach was named after Captain Middleton in 1934. Captain Middleton is an ancestor of Kate Middleton now married to Prince William and proud mother of 3. He brought Governor James Stirling to Western Australia.  It is the main swimming beach for Albany and offers swimming and recreational beach activities. The waters are protected by King George Sound; the Southern Ocean's waves do not usually reach these sheltered waters.

 Image Credit: Ben Reynolds via Albany Region

Image Credit: Ben Reynolds via Albany Region

Middleton Beach has a jetty, and in summer a pontoon (a floating construction that can hold many swimmers) is placed in the ocean for delight and fun of swimmers.

At the far southern end of Middleton Beach, where the bay wraps around the headland (King Point) is called Ellen Cove. Sheltered from the strongest waves by King Head, Ellen Cove is a beautiful nook at the end of Middleton Beach and where you will find the start of The Ellen Cove Boardwalk.

Nearby you can find Three Anchors restaurant/bar/kiosk/art gallery and meeting room. A  venue for people to chill with a beer, good food whilst watching the waves roll in.

Just a short stroll from Albany’s Middleton Beach, Rats Bar offers a unique Great Southern experience – the setting is friendly and intimate; the atmosphere is vibrant and relaxed.

Native Birds in and around Albany - Australian Pelican

The Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) is a large waterbird of the family Pelecanidae, widespread on the inland and coastal waters of Australia. It is a predominantly white bird with black wings and a pink bill. It has been recorded as having the longest bill of any living bird. It mainly eats fish, but will also consume birds and scavenges for scraps if the opportunity arrises.

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The Australian pelican was first described by Dutch naturalist Coenraad Jacob Temminck in 1824. Its specific epithet is derived from the Latin verb conspicere, meaning 'to behold', and refers to the 'spectacled' appearance created by its conspicuous eye markings. Australian pelicans feed by plunge-diving while swimming on the surface of the water. They work in groups to drive fish to shallower water, where they stick their sensitive bills in to snatch their prey. Some feeding grounds in large bodies of water have included up to 1,900 individual birds. They will sometimes also forage solitarily. Their predominant prey is fish and they commonly feed on introduced species such as goldfishEuropean carp and European perch. When possible, they also eat native fish, with a seeming preference for the perch Leiopotherapon unicolor. However, the Australian pelican seems to be less of a piscivore and more catholic in taste than other pelicans. It regularly feeds on insects and many aquatic crustaceans, especially the common yabby and the shrimps in the Macrobrachium genus. This pelican also takes other birds with some frequency, such as silver gullsAustralian white ibisand grey teal, including eggs, nestlings, fledglings and adults, which they may kill by pinning them underwater and drowning them.

The Australian pelican begins breeding at two or three years of age. The breeding season varies, occurring in winter in tropical areas (north of 26°S) and spring in parts of southern Australia. Breeding may occur any time after rainfall in inland areas. The nest is a shallow depression in earth or sand, sometimes with some grass lining.

Breeding Australian pelicans will lay one to four (typically two) chalky-white eggs measuring 93 mm × 57 mm (3.7 in × 2.2 in), which often appear scratched and dirty.[10] The eggs are incubated for 32 to 35 days. The chicks are naked when they hatch, though quickly grow grey down feathers. After they hatch, the larger one will be fed more, and the smaller one will eventually die of starvation or siblicide. For the first two weeks the chicks will be fed regurgitated liquid, but for the remaining two months they will be fed fish and some invertebrates. Feeding pods are formed within colonies when the chicks are around 25 days. The young pelicans fledge at around three months of age.

At Emu Point you can see them waiting for scraps as the fishermen come in with thier catch and fillet the fish in the special station for them.

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In and around Albany - Sand Patch

"Sandpatch" has only a small patch of sand and about 10km of rocks. Only 12km from the city centre of Albany you will find yourself about 80km above the Southern Ocean, with incredible views, and surrounded by one of the best examples of wind farms in the world!

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Thank you to SKYPRINTS for your stunning photos of this beautiful piece of coastline.

Start by following the path under the huge wind turbines. You will find a number of interpretive panels about the wind farm, as well as information about the six seasons of the Noongar calendar.  There is an awesome viewing platform at the Sandpatch.  The Bibbulum Track passes through the Wind Farm and you can take the path either left or right.  The ocean and rugged coastline is always in sight and there are plenty of wild flowers and orchids to be seen during the different seasons.

Senset at Sandpatch