Saturday 7 October 2023

Nepabunna back to Eagle View, South Australia.

A cracking morning in the hills near Nepabunna.
Australia, Day Thirty.

A view from the hill to part of the Flinders Ranges.
After Breakfast we drove to a spot near to the Village and went for a walk up onto one of the hills hoping to see my 6th Grasswren species for SA, the Short-tailed Grasswren (Amytornis merrotsyi) but as hard as we tried we only managed to hear them a couple of times, it was a little breezy so the birds were sitting very tight amongst the Spinifex grass tussocks.
Greg and Ian on the way up.
Near the top, I was behind because I was taking photo's and not knackered, honest.
Deb putting her amazing hearing to work, the Grasswren call is so high pitched I was struggling.
During the really stunning walk we did record Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis), Grey-fronted (Ptilotula plumula) and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis), Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris), Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus), Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), my first Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) of the trip which completed the Falcon list for the state, Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) and the bird which seemed to surprise everyone a very smart Chestnut Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma castanotum) which we all saw well initially but when we tried to get photo's it became very difficult to see but very easy to hear as it called regularly.
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus).

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides).

Euro / Common Wallaroo (Osphranter robustus).

Also seen up there was a mother Euro / Common Wallaroo (Osphranter robustus) and well grown Joey, Red-barred Crevice-Dragon (Ctenophorus vadnappa) and another smaller Lizard which I still need a name for.
We eventually decided we were flogging a dead donkey with the
Short-tailed Grasswren so we started to make our way down to the cars again, on the way we saw a couple of Willie-wagtails (Rhipidura leucophrys) mobbing a none to impressed Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides).
Rock Wallaby habitat.
I had seen some of Greg's photo's of the beautiful Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus) and once we got near to the cars Deb and Ian went back to Greg's and we continued on a short distance up a nearby gorge where we had a chance of seeing them but I didn't think we were going to be as lucky as we were.
On our way through the Gorge.
We moved up the Gorge and suddenly Greg beckoned me forward and I scanned the hills where he was pointing expecting a speck sat on a rock way off but he said not there, here and I was amazed to see a sunning female Rock Wallaby sat just a few meters above us and she was so well behaved and just sat there whilst we took 100s of pictures of her and her Joey that popped its head out of her pouch every now and then, I was assured that they are not normally as easy as this and this encounter was as good as Greg had had, another amazing experience to add to the list.
Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus).

Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus).

Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus).

Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus).
We returned to the car adding Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) and Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica) before returning to his house where Deb and Ian had already packed ready to continue on South but we found a very nice looking Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) sat in the middle of the road right outside the house so Greg got out to move it off but it just sat there forcing him to pick it up and actually move it.
Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) Male.
Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) Male.
Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) Male.
Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) Male.
Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) Female.
Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) whilst being moved off the road.
We thanked and said Goodbye to Greg and continued on West then south stopping at Copley Bush Bakery and Quandong Cafe for Coffee and a Quandong Pie, species seen during the drive included Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans), Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Black (Milvus migrans) and Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus), Emu, Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) and Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax).
Art Work / Signs at the entrance to Nepabunna.

We stopped at Port Augusta hoping to eat at the Arid Lands Botanic Garden but it was already closed, we added White-browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus), Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) and Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), plus on the way south Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis) and a Barn Owl (Tyto alba) which I missed as I think I had nodded off in the back.

Friday 6 October 2023

Innamincka to Nepabunna, South Australia.

Starting to make our way back down South to Eagle View.
Australia, Day Twenty Nine.

Gibber, Gibber and more Gibber along the Strzelecki.
We had a nice steady start today but had a long journey ahead of us, we were originally heading for Lyndhurst at the far end of the Strzelecki but after a message from a friend of Deb and Ian's we headed down to the Aboriginal Township of Nepabunna to pay Greg a visit.
Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon).

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea).

Around the camping ground we started the list in a rather gruesome way when a Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrocephalus) came shooting through the bush right next to us and caught a White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata), it sat there for a few seconds but neither Deb or I had our camera's ready so it was off before we had chance of any pictures.
Brown Falcon (Falco berigora).

Brown Falcon (Falco berigora).

Black Kite (Milvus migrans).

Other species seen before we moved on were Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus), Australasian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae), Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca), Red-backed Kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius), Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius), Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae) and then Deb picked up a bird we had wanted to see all trip flying in, a Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon) but by the time I found my Camera it was way to far off for a decent photo unfortunately.
Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Desert fatigues.

White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosterna).

Once we were packed and sorted we set off South along the Strzelecki Track, on the way picking up Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus), Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides), Black Kite (Milvus migrans), Red-backed Kingfisher, Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), Orange Chat (Epthianura aurifrons), Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) x3, Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosterna), then a second Black-breasted Buzzard which was off as quickly as the first and managed even worse photo's, Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens), Chirruping Wedgebill (Psophodes cristatus), up in some roadside Dunes 3x Eyrean Grasswren (Amytornis goyderi) and Red Kangaroo (Osphranter rufus).
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax).
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax).
We pulled in and had a coffee / tea break at Collina Bore, during our sit down we saw several more Black Kites in some strange moult and plumage states, a pale morph
Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides) and several White-backed Swallows.
Mount Hopeless Road ????
The Eastern side of the Flinders Range.
We continued on and then took a left on to the Mount Hopeless Road which took us along side the Flinders Ranges and then on into Nepabunna, during this stage of the drive we saw
Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus), Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), Nankeen Kestrel, Chestnut-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus ruficeps), Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula), Emu, Cinnamon Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum) and White-winged Fairywren (Malurus leucopterus) before we arrived and had a very nice evening meal and catchup with Greg who I had met during my last visit in 2022.

Thursday 5 October 2023

Coongie Lakes back to Innamincka, South Australia.

Back out along the Southern Shore line then back to Innamincka Camp Ground.
Australia, Day Twenty Eight.

Dawn from my Swag.
We were up at dawn or there about and after having Coffee, Breakfast and packing the kit away, we had started the list over night with Barn Owl (Tyto alba) and Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles cristatus) but continued birding around the Camping Ground seeing Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus), Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides), White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata), White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus), Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) and Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea).
White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula penicillata).
Just along from the over night spot we checked the Cooper Creek and added Pied (Phalacrocorax varius) and Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos), Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus), Tree (Petrochelidon nigricans) and Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel), Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica), Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus), Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius) ssp barnardi, Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia), Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus), Australasian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae), Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus), Great White Egret (Ardea alba) and Black Kite (Milvus migrans).
Brolga (Antigone rubicunda).
Brolga's (Antigone rubicunda).
Brolga (Antigone rubicunda).
Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus).
Next we made our way back along the Southern Shore of the lake making several stops to scan through the Duck and to look for Waders, as we went along we saw Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus), Purple-backed Fairywren (Malurus assimilis), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), a nce pair of  Brolga's (Antigone rubicunda) which were unfortunately always into the sun, Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus), Hardhead (Aythya australis), Red-kneed (Erythrogonys cinctus) and Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops), Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes) and Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida).
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) Female.

Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) Female.
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) Male.
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) Male Above.
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) Male below.
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) Male.
At the far end of the track we reached the pool on the right again but today we parked and went for a walk all the way around, at the start we saw big numbers of Black-tailed Nativehens (Tribonyx ventralis) x30+, Gull-billed (Gelochelidon nilotica) x3 and Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida), Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae) and Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles). 
Black-tailed Nativehens (Tribonyx ventralis).
Black-tailed Nativehens (Tribonyx ventralis).
Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae).
Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae).
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica).
We started the walk by going up into a dune which ran along the Northern side where we had views of several Eyrean Grasswrens (Amytornis goyderi) and down along the North Shore Australian Pratincole (Stiltia isabella), Crimson (Epthianura tricolor) and Orange Chat (Epthianura aurifrons), White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica), White-winged Fairywren (Malurus leucopterus), Pied Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus), lots more Rainbow Bee-eaters, Magpie-lark, Whistling Kite and more Glossy Ibis.
The smaller shallow lake.

Australian Pratincole (Stiltia isabella).
Eyrean Grasswren (Amytornis goyderi).
Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor).
White-winged Fairywren (Malurus leucopterus) Male.
White-winged Fairywren (Malurus leucopterus) Female.
White-winged Fairywren (Malurus leucopterus) Female.
We returned to the car and started to make our way back towards the main track but took another track off to the right we had noticed yesterday, this took us around to some more bays of the lake where we had good flocks of Waterfowl and other birds which included at least 30 Freckled Ducks (Stictonetta naevosa), Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata), Pink-eared Duck x20+, Hardhead (Aythya australis) x170+, Grey Teal (Anas gracilis), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Musk Duck (Biziura lobata), Black Swan, a couple more Brolga (Antigone rubicunda), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Glossy Ibis, Great White Egret, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) and a Dingo (Canis dingo).
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus).
The Sand Dunes.
Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia).
Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles).
At the furthest point we had a walk out onto a small marshy spit into the lake finding many more
Red-kneed and Black-fronted Dotterel, Pied Stilt, Masked Lapwing, Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus), Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Little Grassbird (Poodytes gramineus).
Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus) Immature.
Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus) Adult.
Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus) Adult.
On the way out of the area we calling in at Kudriemitchie Camp Ground where we checked the river and found a calling Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta) and just along the track we again stopped at Kudriemitchie Out Station, had some lunch and found White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor).
Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides).
Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides).
Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides).
On the dive back to Innamincka we had the first Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides) of the trip, Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Masked Woodswallow (Artamus personatus), Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae) and White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosterna).
At the crossing of the Cooper at Innamincka we saw White-necked Heron, Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) and Willie-wagtail.
Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans) Nests.
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta).
Our first and only spot around town before dark was the Shit Ponds where we had a quick look but we only picked up Australian Raven, Black Kite, Galah, Little Corella and Orange Chat.
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus).
Black Kite (Milvus migrans) Immature.
By the time we had been to the hotel and had some food and driven to the Queerbidy Camping Ground it was almost dark so we only recorded Barn Owl and Australian Owlet-nightjar again.