Thursday, 14 September 2023

Coober Pedy to Marla and Umuwa, South Australia.

Continuing on North West.
Australia, Day Seven.

Just after dawn.
We were up and about early so went to check the "Shitty stream" which is not as bad as it sounds, just the  out flow from the sewage works which attracts a good number of birds which today included Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus), Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops), Australian Crake (Porzana fluminea), Little Grassbird (Poodytes gramineus), Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata), Little Crow (Corvus bennetti), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) and Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena).
Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis).
After checking the town Common we went into town again for Fuel and some Breakfast before heading out on some tracks north until we rejoined the Stewart Highway, along the tracks we saw Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus), Orange (Epthianura aurifrons) and Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor), White-winged Fairywren (Malurus leucopterus), a calling Cinnamon Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum), Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), male and female Gibber Chat (Ashbyia lovensis), Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor), several Pied Honeyeater (Certhionyx variegatus), Broad-leaf Parakeelya (Calandrinia balonensis) and Red Kangaroo (Osphranter rufus).
Orange Chat (Epthianura aurifrons) male.
White-winged Fairywren (Malurus leucopterus) female.
Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) male.
Just before we Pulled into Marla for some Lunch we checked out a small area of water where we picked up
Black-fronted Dotterel, Budgies, Zebra Finch and a couple of stunning Bourke's Parrot (Neophema bourkii) which Graham very casually called as they flew in for a drink.
Opal test pits near Coober Pedy.
Ptilotus Species ???????????
Broad-leaf Parakeelya (Calandrinia balonensis).
Part of the Break Aways Conservation Park.
Break Aways Conservation Park.
Around the Marla Road House we saw Little Crow (Corvus bennetti), Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula) and Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla).
Bourke's Parrot (Neophema bourkii).
Bourke's Parrot (Neophema bourkii).
Bourke's Parrot (Neophema bourkii).
Pied Honeyeater (Certhionyx variegatus) female.
We continued on North to the point at which we turned into the restricted Access areas of the APY Lands, just before we got there we checked out a couple of Borrow-pit Pools where we found Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata), Grey Teal (Anas gracilis), Whistling Kite, Zebra Finches and a very nice unusual in the area White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica).
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica).
Budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus).
Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus).
Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus).
Once we were on the tracks heading towards Umuwa we added Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius) and my first Rainbow Bee-eaters (Merops ornatus) for SA.
Grey-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis).
Red-backed Kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius).
We made a stop in an area of Ironwood and Mulga scrub where we were looking for the difficult to see Grey-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis) which Deb quickly found but it took a good while before we all managed to see them.
Broad-leaf Parakeelya (Calandrinia balonensis).
On our way to Umuwa.

Other species we saw there and on our way to Umuwa included White-winged Triller, Red-backed Kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius), Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata), Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis), Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris), Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii), White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata) and a couple of Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius).
Deb and Graham just after the sun dropped.
We arrived in Umuwa just before dark and then settled into our digs for the night.

Wednesday, 13 September 2023

Eagle View to Coober Pedy, South Australia.

Heading off North for the start of an out back adventure.
Australia, Day Six.


We were all up at the crack of Sparrows and getting sorted ready for the off, as we were loading the Hilux I recorded Little (Anthochaera chrysoptera) and Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata), Rainbow (Trichoglossus moluccanus) and Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata), Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), Yellow-faced (Caligavis chrysops), New Holland (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) and Crescent Honeyeater (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus), Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), Little Raven (Corvus mellori), Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) and a White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae).
Barn Owl (Tyto alba).

Once we were fully loaded we went just up the road to Deb's moms where we dropped the dogs off, as we were walking in towards the house we were amazed to see a very smart Barn Owl (Tyto alba) flew out from one of the wooden beams of Renate's porch.
Barn Owl (Tyto alba).
The Owl flew over us and landed in a eucalyptus trees along the drive way, we walked back towards the car and we were very surprised that it sat there whilst we got the cameras out and took it's picture.
Barn Owl (Tyto alba).
Whilst Deb and her mom sorted the dogs out I watched to see what else was about in the garden and added White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus), Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans) and Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa).
We started the drive North through Adelaide picking up Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca), Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala), Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca), Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis), Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae), Whistling (Haliastur sphenurus) and Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), Pied Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus) and Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) before meeting up with Graham at Port Wakefields.
We continued on North to Pimna for lunch, on the way seeing Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula), Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis), Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), Black Kite (Milvus migrans), Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens) and White-browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus).
Lunch was at Spud's Roadhouse in Pimna after which we continued on up to Coober Pedy, on the way we picked up Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides), Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus), Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) and Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax).

Tuesday, 12 September 2023

Eagle View, South Australia.

A day packing ready to head out into the wilds.
Australia, Day Five.

We were up and about early getting a lot of kit ready for our next adventure up into the APY Lands for a few weeks, so my list was solely from around the farm and down at the local Dams.
Species seen around the farm included Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Musk (Glossopsitta concinna) and Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus), New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), Red-browed Firetail (Neochmia temporalis), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) and Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor).
Later Ian and I went down to the lower fields to check on one of his Heifer's which was due to calf and as we passed the first of the Dams we saw a single Hardhead (Aythya australis), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca), Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) and Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata).
On the way back to the farm Ian took me on to a track nearby where we saw a White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), a big flock of European Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), 3x Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans), Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus) and Small Whites (Pieris rapae).

Monday, 11 September 2023

Port Macdonnel, French Point, Pick Swamp, Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, Donavon's and Driving North to Eagle View, South Australia.

A Mornings birding before heading back North.
Australia, Day Four.

Pic Swamp.
We were up and out early, around the accommodation we started the day list off with Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) and as we drove along the coast towards French Point we added Great White Egret (Ardea alba), Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida), Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) and Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos).
White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae).
White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae).
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida).
At french point the first birds seen were two Buff-banded Rails (Gallirallus philippensis) which were chasing each other around a small wet dell just off the road but as we stopped they both disappeard into the bushes and we didn't see them again.
Great White (Ardea alba), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) and Silver Gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae).
A little further along the road we pull off and followed a narrow grass track where we made a few stops and scanned the beach and the rock finding White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Silver (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), Pacific (Larus pacificus) and Kelp Gulls (Larus dominicanus), Whiskered and Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii), Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris), Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus), Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis), 2x Double-banded Plover (Charadrius bicinctus) which Deb was pleased to see for her year list, Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus), Australasian Gannet (Morus serrator), a passing flock of Grey Teal (Anas gracilis) as well as Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis), Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis), Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae) and several Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Little Corella's (Cacatua sanguinea).
Little Corella's (Cacatua sanguinea).
Brolga (Antigone rubicunda).
Our next stop was at Pick swamp, a spot I visited and liked very much last year, this visit we had good views of
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca), Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), a large flock of Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea) by the entrance along with a single Beautiful Firetail (Stagonopleura bella), a couple of Brolga (Antigone rubicunda), Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans), Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica), Magpie Geese (Anseranas semipalmata) and an Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) which Deb saw but I missed.
Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus).
Western Grey Kangaroo's (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus).
We dropped down onto the path to the reeds and soon picked up Southern Emuwren (Stipiturus malachurus) and Striated Fieldwren (Calamanthus fuliginosus) both difficult species, along with Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla), New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata), Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Musk Duck (Biziura lobata), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), a calling but not seen Lewin's Rail (Lewinia pectoralis), a White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons) which Deb saw and lots of Western Grey Kangaroo's (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus).
Southern Emuwren (Stipiturus malachurus).
Southern Emuwren (Stipiturus malachurus).
Striated Fieldwren (Calamanthus fuliginosus).
We returned to the car and then went just up the road to Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, as we drove in Deb picked up a very smart
Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) on the roadside and as we walked out to the pool and on the water we added Brush Bronzewing (Phaps elegans), Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Little Grassbird (Poodytes gramineus), Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), more  Beautiful Firetails and several Small Whites (Pieris rapae).
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla).
Brolga (Antigone rubicunda).
We started to head back to the farm but took a short detour via the River Glenelgs at Donovan's adding Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus) and Red-browed Firetail (Neochmia temporalis) before making our way back north seeing Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides), Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata), Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea), White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica) and White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) on the way.
Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus).
Eurasian Coots (Fulica atra).
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae).

Sunday, 10 September 2023

Off Port Macdonnel, Donovan's and Dry Creek, South Australia.

All at sea and then some on boarder birding.
Australia, Day Three.
Ebird lists for in shore section.
Ebird List for the Deep Hole Drift.
Port Mac at just after 06.15
We were all up and around early and down on the Port by 06:15 where we met Jason the Captain of the “Jaymar Star” and Jason the Deckie and we were soon off out towards the shelf break over the “Deep Hole” canyon. 
Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi).
Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) and Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta).
As we left the Port we saw lots of Great Crested Terns (Thalasseus bergii), Silver Gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) and Black-faced Cormorants (Phalacrocorax fuscescens).
Buller's Albatross (Thalassarche bulleri).
White-capped Albatross (Thalassarche steadi) immature.
Further out we had small groups of passing Hutton's (Puffinus huttoni) and Fluttering Shearwaters (Puffinus gavia), a few Australian Gannet (Morus serrator) and the first of 200+ Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta / cauta).
Southern Giant-Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) the one species I did miss seeing.
Northern Giant-Petrel (Macronectes halli).
The further we went out the more birds came in and once we got to the main drift spot there were great numbers of birds coming into the Berley bag which was being dragged behind the boat, unfortunately by this point I was Yodeling into a large bucket and although it soon passed I didn't feel like doing any photography as I knew this would set me off again.
Great-winged Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera).
The sickness was totally my own fault as I had been in a rush to sort things after only arriving a couple of days earlier and had forgotten my Sea sickness pills and had as assumed it was going to be a lot colder out at sea and had put on too many layers so I was soon far too hot, I didn't get any Photo's but apart from one species I saw everything and thanks to Deb's photo's I can show a few bits of what we saw.
White-chinned Petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis).
Species recorded at the Deep Hole area included Yellow-nosed (Thalassarche chlororhynchos), Buller's (Thalassarche bulleri), Salvin's (Thalassarche salvini), Black-browed (Thalassarche melanophris), White-capped (Thalassarche steadi), New Zealand Wandering (Diomedea antipodensis gibsoni), Southern Royal (Diomedea epomophora) and Northern Royal Albatross's (Diomedea sanfordi), White-faced Storm-Petrel (Pelagodroma marina), Southern (Macronectes giganteus) and Northern Giant-Petrels (Macronectes halli), Cape (Daption capense), Great-winged (Pterodroma macroptera), Grey-faced (Pterodroma gouldi) and White-chinned Petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis), Sooty Shearwater (Ardenna grisea) and White-fronted Terns (Sterna striata).
White-faced Storm-Petrel (Pelagodroma marina).
We returned to Port and went for a coffee before everyone headed off in there own directions, Deb and I headed out and checked the beach near the port looking for a Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) for my SA list, we walked to the beach and had a fly over 1st CY Kelp as well as a good number of Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis) and a few Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) which were unfortunately flushed by wakers and as we returned to the car a pair of Masked Lapwings (Vanellus miles) and lots of feeding Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena).
Cape Petrel (Daption capense).
We then headed off towards a spot call Dry Creek via the River Glenelgs at Donovan's where we checked a couple of spots where this river bends into SA from Victoria looking for Kingfishers without any Luck, on the way there we picked up Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Great White Egret (Ardea alba), Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida), Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos), Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris), Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus), Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus), Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides) and Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus).
White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata).
At Donavon's did see Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata), Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) and Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa).
Every picture tells a story, the return to port. No I didn't fill the bucket thankfully.
Whist we were on our way to Dry Creek Brush Bronzewing (Phaps elegans), White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea) heard only and Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor).
Once at Dry Creek area we searched and listened for our main target species which was a group of Gang-Gang Cockatoo's (Callocephalon fimbriatum) that Dave Harper had found a month or so earlier and had been seen again yesterday, we drove some tracks and fairly quickly heard the birds off in the distance and after a bit of a search found two of the group five, another new species for me in SA.
Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus).

Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus).

This smart looking species was soon followed by
Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) and Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) which we saw inflight well showing off all the fetchers to rule out a hybrid with Grey Currawong.
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena).
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena).
As we drove round we also saw and heard Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), White-eared Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis leucotis) HO, Rufous Bristlebird (Dasyornis broadbenti) HO and a surprise Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus) which was another new species for my list.
Gang-Gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum) female.
Gang-Gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum) female.
Later we went back to the main track hoping to hear and see some more nocturnal bird species but only managed a couple of calling Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook), a couple of Swamp Wallaby and a Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus).
Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii).

After we were there for a while a couple of the people from the Pelagic turned up and we all drove around the woodlands for some time but didn't manage to add anything else to the list.
Dusk along one of the Dry Creek Tracks.
Just as we were about to leave we discovered two stray dogs way into the reserve so Deb decided to put them in the back of the vehicle and take them to Mount Gambia where a local council warden collected them from us, later than planned we returned to Port Mac.