Friday, February 19, 2016

Triple Twitch In WA!

We were about two-thirds across the Nullarbor when we decided to go for the Eurasian Hobby and the Oriental Honey-buzzard near Perth. That was Monday. We drove to Western Australia on Tuesday and then on to a little town 2 hours from Perth on Wednesday. We were on the road before 6am Thursday heading for the Honey-buzzard location! I was excited and grateful.

And then about 45 minutes from our destination the orange warning light lit up on the dash. Something was wrong with our girl. She had no power, barely enough to drive (it took ages to get up to speed on the freeway). But we made it to the Honey-buzzard site and with the invaluable help of our new friend Damian, we saw the buzzard! I had glorious scope views as I followed it across the far side of the lake. Then I got on the phone and found a diesel repair place who could look at Troopi that morning.

We got her there by 10am and they plugged into her computer (don’t get me started, I wanted an older vehicle, please do not comment on that) and found that her accelerator pedal was malfunctioning. It actually has electronics inside it that control the speed. They could replace it and the part would arrive by 3:30pm. In the mean time, Troopi had somehow recovered her powers, so we went off to look for the Eurasian Hobby about 40 minutes away. Damian was already there with our other new friend, Peter. No Hobby yet. Then after about only fifteen minutes, it flew directly over us to perch in full view in a tree across the street. Sweet! It was one of the most awesome twitches I have ever had. Grateful does not cover it.

Eurasian Hobby!

With a detour to tick a Mute Swan (a plastic, I know) we headed back to the repair place. On the way, Damian texted and alerted us to the Eurasian Curlew that had been seen and confirmed two hours south in Bunbury. The new accelerator pedal arrived early, they installed it, tested it and we were on our way. We were also heading into the beginnings of Perth rush hour traffic. But we arrived in Bunbury just before 6pm, got a campsite and collapsed.

Yesterday morning we drove down to the point where the Eurasian Curlew had been seen the day before and seen again in the evening. We had hopes as we began searching the mudflats and sandbars. We met Peter Taylor and he joined us, or visa versa, and we kept looking. I had walked out onto the point of a sandbar and was scoping back across and saw a lighter, whiter curlew. I yelled to Lynn and Peter, “I have a candidate!” just as they both waved to me that they were seeing what they thought was the bird. It was the bird, and we had all gotten on it at the same time. Sweet! “Lifer high” ensued and we had a blast watching it, seeing it fly and taking way too many photos… it was wonderful. It had become a Triple Twitch! I am so grateful!
Eurasian Curlew!

We reluctantly left the curlew and headed east. We decided to stop at Manjimup, Peter Taylor’s hometown, where he had seen Baudin’s Black-cockatoos feeding in the marri trees. We stayed in the caravan park under and by those trees and this morning before I had my coffee, I had beheld Baudin’s! We also picked up western ticks here of Gilbert’s Honeyeater (Western White-naped) and the Western Whistler. Man, this is fun. I am stupid-grateful! Now I will try and sort some photos to go with this blog and get it posted. Cheers and much gratitude from the far side of the far side!
I believe this is Ms Baudin's Black-cockatoo.
And this is Mr. Baudin's Black-cockatoo. 

My first view... I was thrilled.        
Western Whistler (the black band is thinner than the eastern one).
Gilbert's Honeyeater

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


  1. I'd love to know where you were in Bunbury for the Eurasian Curlew sighting Bruce, will get in touch

  2. Great info on the Australian Twitchers FB page and there is a map there. I will message it to you.


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