Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Across The Nullarbor

We have crossed the Nullarbor. In the almost 20 years that we have been coming to Australia, we had heard of this desolate highway across the plain to Western Australia. It sounded scary and exciting. It is not scary nowadays and there are a lot of people crossing it at any time. And there are a lot of trees, especially considering that Nullarbor means treeless. But it is still very cool and I am glad, and grateful that we have done it!

The birding along the Highway itself is a bit sparse. We went to, and camped at, the Nullarbor Roadhouse specifically to look for the Nullarbor Quail-thrush. Kay Parkin had written in her September 2013 blog that she had gotten the bird in five minutes, but spent four hours to get a photo. I had told her that I hoped to get it in five minutes as well. And depending upon where you started the clock, we did. The bird flushed and crossed in front of Troopi, landing, then running along the ground to our left. We got cracking views as it trotted across little open areas into the brush. I was out with the camera and off after it in moments. But it had disappeared into some hole in the space/time continuum. We did not see that one again. Although while looking for it, Lynn got her lifer Slender-billed Thornbill! I am grateful.

Suffice to say, we spent more than four hours out there without getting a photo of the bird. We saw another NQT further along the track after supper, but again it disappeared as they do. As I had said many times, this is not a bird photography safari, it is birding and we both got the bird! I am massively grateful. For our “Lifer Pie” treat, we had a very nice supper including some delicious chips at the roadhouse.
Lynn's lifer Slender-billed Thornbill

Looking south on the "Nullabor Quail-thrush track." 
The minimalist camping at the Nullarbor Roadhouse. It is just a gravel parking lot, but we found a couple of trees to be near.
We did a bit of sight-seeing as the views of the Great Australian Bight are insanely gorgeous. Here are a few photos.

After spending the night in Madura we took a quick detour heading north from Cocklebiddy. We did not see much up there, but it was a cool look at the landscape (and pipits, lots of pipits). And then later yesterday we rolled on into the Australian Western Time Zone and stayed here in Norseman, WA. Crossing the Nullarbor, we changed time zones a few times and for reasons I do not understand, the simple concept of using an hour at a time for time zone changes doesn’t work here. It is in half hour or forty-five minute changes. So at this point, we just eat when we’re hungry and sleep when we’re sleepy and don’t worry much about what the clock says. Here are some more photos. I am very grateful indeed.

Dingos do not care what time it is either.
Another view of the Bight much further along.
Welcome to WA. Set your clock... um... just look at your phone when you get signal. 
Big view of big Oz.
North of Cocklebiddy, not much out there, but it is cool.     
Signs along the way...

We stopped to look, but we never got to see the Kangaroo jumping over the Emu. 
Birds. Peace. Love. Earth. Laughter. Music.


  1. Very interesting about the time zone changes not being in one hour increments!

  2. It does seem weird, and the last couple of changes seemed to come quickly. I am still not sure where exactly some were.


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