Friday, December 21, 2012


The break in our travels during mid year found us back on the Sunshine Coast for a while, where I visited a few of my local haunts. There were some big seas and on shore winds prevailing, so I headed up the coast to try a spot of sea-bird watching. Apart from a few Australasian Gannets and a tern or two  there wasn't much about. 

Point Arkwright

Point Perry rockscape

The sewage treatment plant at Maroochydore had a few waterbirds present, some loafing on the grass banks and others busy feeding in the nutrient rich waters.   

Chestnut Teal & Pacific Black Ducks

Black-winged Stilt

Out at the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary some of the local passerines were making the most of the winter sun.

Maroochy River & Mt.Coolum

Welcome Swallow

Willie Wagtail

Scarlet Honeyeaters

A visit to Parklands Forest Reserve yielded some close up views of some inquisitive members of the Malurus family and a shrike-thrush posing as a treecreeper.

Variegated Fairy-wren - male

Variegated Fairy-wren - female 

Little Shrike-Thrush

Along the north shore of the Maroochy River at Mudjimba, a far off shape on the sand banks turned into a Beach Stone-Curlew through the field scope. I had read a report of a sighting by Greg Roberts in a post he published on his excellent blogsite, which gave me the incentive to look for this enigmatic wader.

Maroochy River - north shore

Beach Stone-Curlew

A much better image below by Ian Montgomery at:

Cheers and Happy Birding

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Our last stop in Western Australia back in late April was Esperance, before we had to rush back home for family reasons. 

At the caravan park a flock of Black-Cockatoos flew into a dead tree where they entertained us with their raucous antics.  

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo - male

After consulting a couple of field guides the verdict was Carnaby's, with the bill shape and length,
and the location, as the similar Baudin's is apparently not found this far east. Both these WA endemics are classified as endangered.

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo - female

A visit to Cape Le Grand National Park was a must do, not just for the scenic attractions but the chance of finding some new birds, which we promptly accomplished. They were Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters, Western Spinebills and a small group of Southern Emu-Wrens with a stunning male the standout. Alas no photos. Occasionally I get so engrossed with observing a lifer and even familiar birds, that I forget the camera hanging on my shoulder!

Southern Emu-Wrens (illustration by Henrik Gronveld 1917)  

Thistle Cove

Frenchmans Peak

Lucky Bay

Anyway, the birds weren't all that co-operative photographically on this day and the two below were all I had to show for it.

New Holland Honeyeater

Black-faced Cormorant 

Wild horses - brumbies

Old Man's Beard  (Clematis pubescens)

Chittick  ( Lambertia inermis)

Cheers and Happy Birding

Saturday, November 24, 2012


On our way across the Nullarbor we stopped at a couple of vantage points just off the Eyre highway to take in the vistas along the coastline of the Great Australian Bight.

The Bight

Giant sand dunes

Bunda cliffs

We also detoured to the Head of Bight, where for 5 dollars you can stroll along the boardwalk there and  enjoy the views. We were too early to see any migrating whales, but I did manage to spot a couple of Nullarbor Quail-thrush in the salt bush alongside the road in. They are actually a race of the Cinnamon Quail-thrush, found only along the Nullarbor Plain. 

Nullarbor Quail-thrush country

We took our time crossing and enjoyed some free camping at some of the numerous rest stops along the way.

Sunset at Domblegabby rest area

Near Norseman we had another species of Quail-thrush not far from our campsite and this one, another lifer, I was able to capture in action.

Chestnut-backed Quail-thrush

A detour to Kalgoorlie gave us the chance to see a different sort of landscape to that we had just come through. A man made hole in the earth of gargantuan proportions, the Super Pit at Boulder is a gold mine, 3.5 km long, 1.5 km wide and 370 metres deep.

The Super Pit

On the way to Kalgoorlie

Cheers and Happy Birding

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


After our Port Lincoln visit it was onwards to Coffin Bay National Park on the other side of the Eyre Peninsula, in South Australia. After savouring a couple of dozen succulent oysters fresh from the farm we savoured some of the coastal scenery and birdlife in the area.  

First time oyster shucker

Yangie Bay

Point Avoid

Pied Currawong

Sooty Oystercatcher

Red-capped Plover

Pacific Gull

On our way to Ceduna we overnighted at Murphy's Haystacks, a type of granite rock formation known as inselbergs. They were mistaken for giant haystacks by a distant traveller early last century and were named after the properties owner.

Murphy's Haystacks

Ceduna - aboriginal name for "a place to sit down and rest," which we were looking forward to -
was our last stop before crossing the Nullarbor Plain. We walked the 368 metre long and nearly century old jetty in Murat bay. A lone Crested tern was using the railing as a perch to do a spot of fishing.

Crested Tern

Great Egret

Common Greenshank

Cheers and Happy Birding