Wednesday 8 November 2023

Lake Gilles Conservation Park, Iron Knob, Arid Lands Botanic Gardens, Bald Hill Beach and Eagle View, South Australia.

Travelling back South but hoping for the 7th Grasswren species of the trip on the way.
Australia, Day Sixty Two.
Ebird List for Bald Hill Beach.

Blue-breasted Fairywren (Malurus pulcherrimus) male.

After a really good nights sleep in a cracking spot we were up early and out photographing birds around the camp site and along the track out to the highway, species included a nice flock of Blue-breasted Fairywrens (Malurus pulcherrimus), Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor), Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus), Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides), Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius ssp zonarius) Port Lincoln type, Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera), Copperback Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma clarum), Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris), Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica), Jacky-winter (Microeca fascinans) and Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis).
Blue-breasted Fairywren (Malurus pulcherrimus) male.
Blue-breasted Fairywren (Malurus pulcherrimus) male.
Blue-breasted Fairywren (Malurus pulcherrimus) male.
We reached the Highway and started to make our way out towards Iron Knob, on the way we saw Emu, Common Bronzewing, Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) and Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus).
Blue-breasted Fairywren (Malurus pulcherrimus) female.
We arrived at Iron Knob, a town built up around a huge Iron ore mine and checked out and area of scrub on the Whyalla road but even though we walked a good area we didn't see or even hear anything from the elusive Western Grasswren (Amytornis textilis).
A street sign in Iron Knob.
At this first spot we did record White-winged Fairywren (Malurus leucopterus), Rufous Fieldwren (Calamanthus campestris), Little Button Quail (Turnix velox), Southern Whiteface (Aphelocephala leucopsis), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) and Australian Raven.
Western Grasswren (Amytornis textilis) habitat with the mine spoil in the back ground.
We moved a short way along the road and checked out another area and as we walked the scrub a small bird popped out from one of the small tussocks and I instantly realized it was a Grasswren and alerted Deb and Ian.
Western Grasswren (Amytornis textilis).
Western Grasswren (Amytornis textilis).
Western Grasswren (Amytornis textilis).
Over the next 20 minutes or so we saw the bird a few more times in a small patch of bushes and manages to get some photo's which were not great but as it's a Grasswren they are the best I am ever likely to get, HAPPY as that means I am on 7 out of 8 possible Grasswren species in SA.
One of the very nice entrance markers at the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden.
Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata).
Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) immature.
Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens).
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes).
Male Blue Skimmer (Orthetrum caledonicum).
We returned to the car and continued on our way to Port Augusta where we had lunch at the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, here we saw Blue Skimmer (Orthetrum caledonicum), Crested Pigeon, Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata), Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), White-browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus), Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus), Small Grass-yellow (Eurema smilax), Small (Pieris rapae) and Caper White (Belenois aurota).
Red Knot (Calidris canutus).
Red Knot (Calidris canutus), Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) and Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae).
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia), Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), Red Knot (Calidris canutus),  Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) and Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae).
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica).
We again continued on South adding Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis) and just passed Port Wakefield we turned off and had a quick look in at Bald Hill Beach where we hoped to find the single Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), on the drive in we saw White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons), Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis) and Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae).
Australian Fairy Tern (Sternula nereis).
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia).
We parked and the Deb and I went for a walk along the beach where we saw Australian Fairy (Sternula nereis), Whiskered (Chlidonias hybrida), Great Crested (Thalasseus bergii) and Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia), Silver (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) and Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus), Little Pied (Microcarbo melanoleucos), Little Black (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) and Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius), Grey Teal (Anas gracilis), Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis), Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), Red Knot (Calidris canutus), Grey (Pluvialis squatarola) and Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus) but there was no sign of the bird we wanted so we turned around and seconds later a small flock of about 6 Grey Plovers flew in over the dunes along with the single wanted Pacific.
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva).
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva).
We returned to the patiently waiting Ian and we continued on back to Eagle View after another superb trip picking up Australian (Threskiornis molucca) and Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis), Black Kite (Milvus migrans), Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus), Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis) and Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus) on the way.
Also seen from the car as we travelled South.

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