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.

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