Saturday, 20 August 2022

Leigh Creek, Acacia Creek / Dry Pools, Retention Lake, Farina, Mulgaria Track to Witchelina Station, South Australia.

Catching-up with some dry land Species and another a cracking Grasswren.
Australia, Day Sixty Six.

Chirruping Wedgebill (Psophodes cristatus).
We were up and around early and in the area around the accommodation we started the day list with Spiny-cheeked (Acanthagenys rufogularis) and White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius), Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrocephalus), Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus), Budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus) and White-browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus).
Chirruping Wedgebill (Psophodes cristatus).
Chirruping Wedgebill (Psophodes cristatus).
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis).
We headed North to Copley where we took to the tracks checking out the water holes and dams for some reported Plumed Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna eytoni), we didn't find the ducks but had good views of several other interesting species in the Acacia Creek area including Chirruping Wedgebill (Psophodes cristatus), Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi), Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis), Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata), Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens), Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides).
Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi).
Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi).
We returned to the main road and went just a bit further North to Retention Lake, at the first spot there we found Australian Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica ssp macrotarsa), Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), Musk Duck (Biziura lobata), Hardhead (Aythya australis), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Little Pied (Microcarbo melanoleucos) and Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris), Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops), Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) and White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons).
Musk Duck (Biziura lobata) female.
Musk Duck (Biziura lobata) female.
Musk Duck (Biziura lobata) female.
We moved around to another part of the lake where we were quickly aware that there were a good number of Great Crested Grebes (Podiceps cristatus) and by the time we had done a quick count we had reached 120 birds which was by far more than Deb had ever seen in one place.
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus).
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus).
Hoary-headed Grebes (Poliocephalus poliocephalus).
Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus).
In the same area we had good views of  Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), Fairy (Petrochelidon ariel) and Tree Martins (Petrochelidon nigricans), Whistling (Haliastur sphenurus) and Black Kite (Milvus migrans), White-browed Babbler, Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus) and White-winged Fairywren (Malurus leucopterus).
Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis).
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes).
Red Kangaroo (Osphranter rufus).
Orange Darling Pea (Swainsona stipularis).
Our next stop going North was at the mostly deserted village of Farina where we had hoped the bakery would be open but it was not to be so we continued out onto the tracks and checked the Reservoir finding Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis), Grey Teal (Anas gracilis), Hoary-headed Grebe, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Zebra Finch and Crested Pigeon.
Emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) on the road to Witchelina.

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae).
Emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae).
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae).
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) and chicks.
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) chicks.
We continued on along the track towards our stop for the night at Witchelina Station  making several stops on the way and picked up Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae), several Orange Chats (Epthianura aurifrons) some of which gave us good views, Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), White-winged Fairywren and one of the main targets for the trip out to this area the Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus) but we did not get great views as the dam things were so fast and some how just vanished behind the smallest of grass tussocks.
Orange Chat (Epthianura aurifrons) male.
Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae).
We checked in at Witchelina, put our kit into the shearers quarters and then headed over to the camp grounds to talk to some other birders we had been told were there to see if they had any info, they gave us a spot along one of the tracks where they had seen several species of Honeyeater so we headed out birding again and I was over the moon to see my first Cinnamon Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum), a female which was later followed by  several stunning male birds.
Cinnamon Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum) male.
Cinnamon Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum) male.
Cinnamon Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum) male.
Cinnamon Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum) male.
Cinnamon Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum) male.
Cinnamon Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum) female.
As we drove the tracks we added Red Kangaroo (Osphranter rufus), Budgies, Spotted Harrier, Black-shouldered Kite, Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis) and a feature of the day the Orange Darling Pea (Swainsona stipularis) which we had been able to smell along all of the tracks.
The Old Sheds.
The Newer Sheds where we were staying.
After a while we realized that somewhere along the drive we had taken the wrong turning and would not make the spot the other birders had told us about so we turned around and headed back in to Witchelina where we again met up with them and arranged to met next morning so Deb could show them the Grasswrens and they could take us out to their spot.

No comments: