Sunday, 21 August 2022

Witchelina Station to Mungeranie, South Australia.

Out into the Gibber and Dunes again.
Australia, Day Sixty Seven.
 
Sturt's Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa) and Me.
We were up and about early so we went for a short walk near the Huts towards the Camp site, on the way we saw Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Galah's (Eolophus roseicapilla), Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) x4 and Budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus). 
Sturt's Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa).
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis).
Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens).
We met up with all four of the Birders from Queensland and we all headed out to a spot where Deb hoped to show the group Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus), a species they were struggling to find but with Deb's expertise after many hours of survey work we soon had a pair in our sights and we had good but distant views.
Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor).

Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor).

Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor).

Once they were happy with their views of the Grasswren they kindly took Deb and I out to the spot where they had seen good numbers of Honeyeaters feeding on the flowering Eremohila plants, on the way we had Budgies, Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Chirruping Wedgebill (Psophodes cristatus) and Cinnamon Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum).
Pied Honeyeater (Certhionyx variegatus) male.

Pied Honeyeater (Certhionyx variegatus) male.

Pied Honeyeater (Certhionyx variegatus) male.

Pied Honeyeater (Certhionyx variegatus) female.

Black Honeyeater (Sugomel nigrum) female ?????

White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons).

Once we were at the site we started to see good numbers of Pied Honeyeaters (Certhionyx variegatus), along with a  couple of Black (Sugomel nigrum), White-plumed (Ptilotula penicillata), Singing (Gavicalis virescens) and White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons).
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis).
Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) male.
Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) female.
Shingleback Lizard (Tiliqua rugosa).
Shingleback Lizard (Tiliqua rugosa).
The others headed off back to Witchelina while Deb and I continued to search the area adding Shingleback Lizard (Tiliqua rugosa), Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata), Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata), Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor) and lots of the beautiful Sturt's Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa).
Me and a Gidgee Skink (Egernia stokesii).

Gidgee Skink (Egernia stokesii).
Gidgee Skink (Egernia stokesii) bit like a spiny Cucumber with legs.
Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps).
Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps).
Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps).
Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) and me stalking it.
After spending a couple of hours on this site we drove back towards Witchelina, on the way back we saw a distant
Gidgee Skink (Egernia stokesii) sat out sunning it's self on a large rock, I took some distant shots as Deb said you never get close to them but a shot way on I hit the breaks as there was on sat right in the track ahead of us. 
Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi).

Little Corella's (Cacatua sanguinea).

Little Corella's (Cacatua sanguinea).

????????????

Fully expecting it to disappear I climbed out of the 4X4 and walked towards it taking pics as I went but it didn't move so we thought that there must be something wrong with it so After I got the shots I wanted Deb went to pick it up and check it out before moving it off the track but as she reached for it he was off like a shot into cover.
Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus).
Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus).
Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus).
Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus).
Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus).
Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus).
Just a little further on we made another stop when we saw the first of several
Central Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps) and shortly after this Deb said we need to check an area of roadside veg as she thought it looked good for the Thick-billed Grasswrens and of course she was spot on and we were getting amazing views of a very helpful pair within minutes.
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae).
We passed the Station and headed back to Farina and the on North to Marree where we turned onto the Birdsville Track, on the way there we added
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), Grey Teal (Anas gracilis), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops), Black (Milvus migrans), Whistling (Haliastur sphenurus) and Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), Crested Bellbird (Oreoica gutturalis), Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi), White-winged Fairywren (Malurus leucopterus), Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), Willie-wagtail and a White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor).
Inland Dotterel (Peltohyas australis).
Inland Dotterel (Peltohyas australis).
We started to head for Mungeranie but we were not expecting to get there before dark so we were pushing on a bit and not planning to stop but as usual that didn't quite work out as Deb some how or other managed to pick out a couple of Inland Dotterels (Peltohyas australis) in deep grass along the side of the road whilst driving, a species I had really wanted to see.
Flock Bronzewing (Phaps histrionica) record shot at best.
As we continued on we also saw  Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans), Pied Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus) and thankfully even though I misidentified a couple of birds that flew over the road above us as Feral Pigeons (Columba livia) Deb's brain was still firing on all cylinders and within a few seconds the brakes were on and we came to a quick halt when she realized they were actually our first Flock Bronzewings (Phaps histrionica).
Sunset on the way to Mungeraine Pub.
A small part of the roof coverings in the Pub, more about his brilliantly unique / strange place tomorrow.
We eventually arrived at the Mungeranie Pub, booked a couple of rooms, had a Cider, something to eat and then hit the pit absolutely knackered after a brilliant day.

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