Monday, 12 September 2022

Australia, Mid June to Mid September 2022.

Well what a trip.
 
In my Element.
I went to Australia to visit good friends Deb and Ian who live to the South of Adelaide, I was staying with them for three months and can't believe they put up with me for so long and were still smiling at the end of it.
Deb and Ian at our accommodation in the APY Lands..
My room with a view.
In fact they were amazing, making me so welcome and putting so much hard work into showing me some incredible parts of this huge country and a great deal of the wildlife to be found there.
Deb and Renate.
A shaky Selfie.
Out in the APY Lands.
Deb and Ian were brilliant but It would not have been possible for us to have such a fantastic time without help and this came from Deb's Mom, Renate who is one of the most lovely people I have ever been lucky enough to meet and Deb's sister, Petra who took over the farm whilst we were up in Queensland and then stepped in at last minute when Ian broke his leg so that Deb, Renate and I didn't have have to cut short our trip over to Victoria, thank you both so much.
Petra and Deb.
Thanks also go to Sue and Dave Harper who organized the Pelagic and planned a couple of days birding for me over a weekend when Deb was tied up, we had a good time and saw so great species.
Deb with some Timtams, one of the best things I bought back with me but I could only fit 4 packs in sadly.
I can't thank them all enough as I had an amazing time and for the first time ever I didn't want to go home.
Sue and Dave Harper.
Do I want to go back again, YES and the plans are already in motion for a return in 2023, can't thank Deb and Ian enough for agreeing to another 3 month visit as I have missed so many things from the first trip I can't wait to get back there again but wish they could do something about the beer !!!!!!!
 
Very short review of the trip.
 
Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi).
Fairy Prion (Pachyptila turtur).

During the visit I was lucky enough to get out on a Pelagic and see my first ever Albatross as well as a few other good sea birds.
Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos).

Sandhill Grasswren (Amytornis striatus oweni).

This was followed by several days in the APY lands where tops species were Grey Falcon, Dusky and Sandhill Grasswren's, Spinifex Pigeon, Australian Bustard, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo and so many others.
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).

Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius).
Next came 16 days up in Queensland, where we travelled around seeing so many brilliant species including Little Kingfisher, Brahminy Kite, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Victoria's Riflebird, Papuan Frogmouth, Red-necked Crake, Beach Thick-knee and masses more.
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica).

Gang-Gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum).
We were back a few days and then off to Victoria with Deb's Mom Renate, again we travelled around and picked up some stunners including Gang-Gang Cockatoo, Swift Parrot, Superb Lyrebird, Australasian Bittern, Flame and Pink Robin, Bassian Thrush and Satin Bowerbird.
Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus).
Inland Dotterel (Peltohyas australis).
Again we were back for a few day but when the next Pelagic was cancelled Deb decided that we could fit in a few days along the Birdsville Track, highlights were  Thick-billed and Eyrean Grasswren, Flock Bronzewing, Inland Dotterel, Australian Pratincole, White-browed Woodswallow and Rufous Songlark.
Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles cristatus).
Spotted Nightjar (Eurostopodus argus).
I then had a couple of days out with Sue and Dave Harper, we picked up quite a few target species that were leaving gapes in the list including Greater Bluebonnet, Black-eared Cuckoo, Striped Honeyeater, White-browed Treecreeper, Southern Scrub-Robin, Spotted Nightjar, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Black-eared Miner and Gilbert's Whistler plus others.
Slender-billed Thornbill (Acanthiza iredalei).
Samphire / Slender-billed Thornbill (Acanthiza iredalei).
We did a few day trips picking up a few more nice species including Spotted Scrubwren, Tawny Frogmouth, Diamond Firetail and Southern Emuwren.
Black-chinned Honeyeater (Melithreptus gularis).
Latham's Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii).
Deb was determined to get me up to 400 Lifers for the trip so we headed down to the South East for a couple of days and managed to pick up Black-chinned Honeyeater 399 and Latham's Snipe which gave me my 400th, well happy as I had hoped to get around 250 before I arrived.
 
Duck-billed Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus).
Bennett's Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus bennettianus).
It was not just the birds that were amazing but we caught-up with several really good Mammals including the most wanted Duck-billed Platypus as well as Bennett's Tree Kangaroo, Striped Possum, Southern Right Whale as well as many more.

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