Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Heading South from Marree, Farina area, Retention Dam, Bald Hill Beach and Balaklava, South Australia.

Travelling South, picking up my 400th species for the trip and and new SA bird on the way.
Australia, Day Seventy.

Plumed Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna eytoni).
We left Marree after a decent nights sleep but my second in a row where my room had no hot water, cold and none to Chuffed but better after a couple of Coffee's.
Plumed Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna eytoni).
As we drove South to a spot which Chris Steeles had told us about where we might pick up a group of Plumed Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna eytoni), an SA rarity we started the day list with Inland Dotterel (Peltohyas australis) which flew up off the road, Crimson (Epthianura tricolor) and Orange Chats (Epthianura aurifrons), Black Kite (Milvus migrans) and Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae).
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes).
We arrived at the Dam's Chris had told us about, we parked and walked through the scrub to get there adding Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Chirruping Wedgebill (Psophodes cristatus), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi), Singing (Gavicalis virescens), Spiny-cheeked (Acanthagenys rufogularis) and White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata), Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and both White-winged (Malurus leucopterus) and Purple-backed Fairywrens (Malurus assimilis).
Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon).
Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon).
On the first of the Dams (furthest from the car) we found Grey Teal (Anas gracilis) and Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) but when we reached the second Dam we saw the target species, there were 9 very smart Plumed Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna eytoni) sat out on the far bank showing very nicely in the early morning sun.
Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon).
As we walked back to the car we picked up White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus), Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides), Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa), Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) and Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata).
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax).
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax).
We headed south again and near Farina Deb pulled over when she saw a distant Raptor which she suspected might be a Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon) and of course she was spot on, it showed distantly to start with but after a short while it flew straight at us and continued on passed us off into the distance.
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula).

Other species seen as we dropped south included Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae) and several flocks of Budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus) and at the Retention Dam the list was boosted by Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Musk Duck (Biziura lobata), more Hoary-headed Grebes and several Great Crested Grebes (Podiceps cristatus), Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus), Little Pied (Microcarbo melanoleucos) and Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris), Australian Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica ssp macrotarsa) and plenty of both Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena) and Tree Martins (Petrochelidon nigricans).
Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius).

Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius).

Heading South again we made a rather rapid roadside stop when we came across a Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) feeding on a dead Roo as well as Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis), Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), Galah's (Eolophus roseicapilla), Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea), Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca), Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula), Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius) and Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus).
Immature Pacific Gulls (Larus pacificus).
Our final stop of the day was at Bald Hill Beach but the tide was quite high so there were not many waders but we did find Silver (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) and Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus), Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii), Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis), Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris), Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis), Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), White-faced Heron, Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius), Singing and Spiny-cheeked, Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica) and my 400th Australian species the Samphire or Slender-billed Thornbill (Acanthiza iredalei).
Pied Cormorants (Phalacrocorax varius).
We eventually found somewhere to stay in the nearby Balaklava and had something to eat in the pub there. As I had now seen 400 species for the trip, with 380ish of them being lifers Deb now set a new target for the trip of getting me up to 400 full lifers before I go home, nothing like putting pressure on yourself DEB !!!!!!!!

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