Monday, March 14, 2016

Fantail and Treecreeper Joy

Sunday morning began early, but not crazy early. We were down to the mangroves in pursuit of the Mangrove Grey Fantail by 7am. This time we had gone to an old “jetty groin” called Massey Bay Lookout Point. We rolled out to the end and began walking and birding back along the mangrove edge. On about the third stop, I had just said to Lynn that perhaps we should move in closer to the shoreline where there were more mangroves and then almost immediately I said, “There it is.” And it was too. A lovely, inquisitive, cute as, Mangrove Grey Fantail right in front of us. I was grateful and made his photo.
Mangrove Grey Fantail

I like this photo best of all of them. Just because I do.         
Mangrove Grey Fantail Lifer Selfie amongst the mangroves where we saw him.
Next up, I must mention that FB comes through again. Phil Lewis facebook-introduced us to Ross Jones and Carolyn Turnbull and we had a great time birding with them around Kirkalocka (see previous blogs). Knowing where we were headed next, Ross suggested we contact Les George when we got to Carnarvon. We did, but Les was on a bird count down in Shark Bay for the weekend. Well, Lynn and I did all right on our own (see the last blog) but were having no joy of the Black-tailed Treecreeper. It’s a bird of which Les has some good local knowledge. So when he said that he could bird with us Monday morning, we decided to stay an extra night here to go with him.

We decided on a 6am departure and Les arrived just past 5:30 (a man after my own heart. I tend to be notoriously early). But still we rolled out of here about 6. And by about 6:35 we were well east of Carnarvon mushing our way through the soft sand of the dry Gascoyne Riverbed with several billion flies (on each of us). Still, I was very grateful to be there.

Yes, the Gascoyne River... sometimes it is a river.
It doesn't really capture how many there are, but this should give you an idea. And she kept birding!
This bird was not an instant tick by any means. Even Les, who has yet to dip on the bird in that area out there began having his doubts. They just weren’t around. We had been trudging about for almost two hours. I thought perhaps the flies had eaten the treecreepers. Lynn, Les and I had spread out a bit and then… I thought I heard one to the east (yes me, it can happen). I shouted for my hearing-ear person and a few minutes later, Lynn said she thought she heard it to the east as well, but not close. We headed in that direction and soon we heard it distinctly. What a sweet sound that was. Then Lynn said, “There it is!” And it was. Man, was I grateful. Suddenly the flies were not annoying and all was joy. Such is “life bird high.” I am very grateful.
Black-tailed Treecreeper

Yes, the light was at a very bad angle for these, but I was very grateful for them regardless!
Les in the area where we finally found the bird.
Fly covered Lifer Selfie for Black-tailed Treecreeper
We had the best supper tonight that we’ve had in a while. Local seafood cooked to perfection. It was a ‘Lifer Pie level’ treat indeed (and better than the 600th bird dinner that had been a bit disappointing). But this made up for it! I am grateful! Tomorrow we head north (I think) so stay tuned. I truly do enjoy sharing the journey with y’all!

Birds. Peace. Love.

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