Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Over 500

We are now still about Halfway Across Australia, but we’re further south down on the coast of the Eyre Peninsula. It is cool and windy (not crazy windy, but pretty windy). We are soon heading to the west and across the famous Nullarbor. We have no set schedule and will play it by ear. I am grateful.

Yesterday was wonderful. After a quick stop at the Big Gallah, we drove out to Secret Rocks (which are not a secret) about 45 minutes from town.
     


Our quest there was for the Blue-breasted Fairy-wren; a gorgeous little FW that looks a whole lot like a Variegated FW. After about an hour of walking around, with the goats looking down on us (literally, not figuratively… at least I don’t think so), we saw Fairy-wrens! We got looks, took photos and followed them around for a bit. We had maybe a dozen birds in total. There were at least a couple of full colour males and two were males in different stages of eclipse. After looking at the birds and then studying the photos (as well as getting conformation from a couple of sources) we ticked our lifer Blue-breasted Fairy-wren. I am very grateful (and thank you Kay and Tim!).
       

Blue-breasted Fairy-wren
In eclipse as they say
Lynn was reading in our trusty Dolby/Clarke that about 5k east was a track that could have Western Yellow Robin as well as more BBFW. We headed there only to find the track gated and sign-posted Private Property. So we parked and walked around a bit. And we heard the robin! As Lynn so aptly put it, they are not as confiding as their Eastern counterparts. No, they are not. I did manage a few photos, the best being this out of focus shot of the bird flying off a branch. Tick!

Western Yellow Robin leaving the building             
Double Lifer Selfie at the Western Yellow Robin spot
And a bonus Chirruping Wedgebill that was watching us at the rocks. Not a tick, but a cool bird.
As many of you know, while we continue our journey, we are counting the birds that we see together in a year. Our “year” is running from 20 August 2015 to midnight 19 August 2016. We are halfway across Australia and that list is up to 503. We are using the I.O.C. bird list. I have no expectations of some huge number, we cannot chase rarities (unless close) and we cannot afford a Christmas Island or an Ashmore Reef trip, but we will be birding most all the areas of mainland Australia. It is fun to keep the list and we will see how we go. I am very grateful!

Birds. Peace. Love. Earth. Laughter. Music.

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