Saturday 30 September 2023

Mungeraine to Goyder Lagoon, Birdsville Track, South Australia.

Hunting for Grasswren species 4 and 5.
Australia, Day Twenty Three.
Immature Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus).
After an OKish nights sleep we had a walk around the almost dry Mungeranie Bore Wetlands, due to a dispute between some of the land owners the bore water has been turned off for the moment which just leaves a few pools but it was still interesting and we found a few good species including Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), 5x Greater Bluebonnet (Northiella haematogaster) which we didn't expect, Spotted Harriers (Circus assimilis) which were upsetting the Corella's as they were leaving their roost, House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata), Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) and Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) around the car park.
Immature Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus).
Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae).
Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae).
We cut through the trees out to the pools and almost straight away we found an immature Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) which was an SA lifer, Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca), White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica), Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos), Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus), Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae), Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata), Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi) and Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans).
Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos).
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica).
Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus).
We crossed to the far side of the pools and climbed out on to the area of Dunes where we searched for quite a while before we eventually got views of a pair of Eyrean Grasswren (Amytornis goyderi) but they played hard to get and I failed to get the camera on either bird but Deb did get a couple of shots before they again disappeared into thick cover.
Greater Bluebonnet (Northiella haematogaster).
Other species out here were Flock Bronzewing (Phaps histrionica) x5, Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae), Purple-backed Fairywren (Malurus assimilis) and Orange Chat (Epthianura aurifrons).
Australian Pratincole (Stiltia isabella).
Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus).
We started to make our way further along the Birdsville track heading for Goyder Lagoon where we were hoping to find the uncommon Grey Grasswren (Amytornis barbatus), as species I dipped at the same spot last year.
Gibber Chat (Ashbyia lovensis) x3 hiding from the heat under a rock.

Gibber Chat (Ashbyia lovensis).
During the drive we saw White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosterna), Gibber Chat (Ashbyia lovensis), Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), Spotted Harrier, Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) and at the Mirra Mitta Bore Overflow we added Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae) x7, Australian Pratincole (Stiltia isabella) x2, Grey Teal (Anas gracilis), Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) x2, Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) x9, Pied Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus) x2, Budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula) and Australian Magpie.
A hot Australian Pratincole (Stiltia isabella).
Further on we stopped at a small roadside pool and saw 24 more Pink-eared Duck, Grey Teal, Australian Pratincole x4, Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops) x1, Hoary-headed Grebe x3, Little Corella and Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca).
Plumed Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna eytoni).
Plumed Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna eytoni).
Flock Bronzewings (Phaps histrionica).
After a while we reached a turning off the Birdsville and headed out to Goyder Lagoons where we found a camping spot on the edge of a creek pool in amongst large Lignum bushes, once we were sorted we went for a walk along the Creek seeing several Nankeen Night-Herons, White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata), Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), Australian Raven, Purple-backed Fairywren, Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel), Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis) and another Baillon's Crake.
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes).
Yellow-billed Spoonbills (Platalea flavipes) off to Roost.
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica).
We returned to the camp site where Ian stayed while Deb and I continued on up the side of the channel and around the far end into the Lignum swamp, on the way we saw Australian Pratincole, Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), 4x Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes), Black-tailed Nativehen (Tribonyx ventralis), Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus), Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) x5, Black-fronted Dotterel, Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Caspian (Hydroprogne caspia) x2 and Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) x2, Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), Flock Bronzewing 24x, Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor), Black Kite (Milvus migrans) but most surprising was a flock of 23x Plumed Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna eytoni) which flew around and landed back on the pool a bit further up stream.
Sunset near the camp.
On our way out and back again we also had at least 4x Eastern Brown Snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) one of which came up from the grass far too close to my feet.
Loosing the light along the creek.

We sat and had our food and listened to birds flying over after dark which included
Inland Dotterel (Peltohyas australis), Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles cristatus), Nankeen Night-Heron, Pink-eared Ducks and the Plumed Whistling Ducks which flew over a couple of times. 

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