Saturday, March 12, 2016

Six Hundred (And One) Australian Birds

I am writing this from a caravan park in Carnarvon, WA. It’s nice and it’s reasonable, especially with the stay 4 nights, pay for 3 special. So we are here for four nights (and I think we are adding another, more about that later).
Base camp.
Last Friday morning began about 4:30am and we were in Troopi heading for birding by 6am. We caught first light at Chinamans Pool to no avail (or I should say, nothing new avail). Then we did a cursory stop by the sewage works (twas very quiet), so we blew that off and headed for the mangroves at the little boat harbour

We climbed down the rock-rubble seawall into the mangrove flats and began looking and listening. I personally own 3 good pairs of gum-boots, none of which are with me. So off I went into the mud in my hiking boots. They are Asolos, and good boots, but they too are beginning to come apart. I finally wore-out my old Bluntstones. They were the old, real, made-in-Oz ‘blunties’ but I flat-out wore them out… yep, holes in the soles. I loved those boots, but I think I will go with Redbacks next time. They’re still made in Oz and I reckon they are better quality now. Anyway, our feet got muddy and that’s ok.
Not bad at all.
The mud really was not bad at all (as most of us have experienced, mud can be really bad) and we birded our way around and into the mangroves. There didn’t seem to be much around and then a little flock of Silvereyes came through and then came by again giving a better look and no, they were NOT Silvereyes, they were Yellow White-eyes! Tick! I am very grateful. They were my 599th Aussie bird (not counting the Thornlie mystery Imperial Pigeon). Then in moments, I was on a pair of little grey (one might say “dusky”) gerygones. Yes! My Australian Life List had hit 600. I was and am, very grateful!
Yellow White-eye 

Dusky Gerygone- Australian Lifer 600 

(Of course, I think they are beautiful).
That evening we had a nice F&C celebration supper (Lynn had the prawns. I wish I had gotten the prawns). And I had an ice cream on a stick dessert treat as my “Lifer Pie.” I am so grateful.
I got the Large Size.
Saturday morning began early as well and Lynn and I got to Bibbawarra Bore just after first light in hopes of Star Finch. Nothing much was moving around (at least two Chiming Wedgebills were chatting, or rather, chiming). We birded around in the scrub and reeds along the water. Lynn was hearing birds (she is my hearing ear person) and then I saw two little birds in the brush and said, “Red faces!” Then they were gone. But Lynn heard more of them and guided us toward their sounds and soon we were watching at least a score of Star Finches flying about in the bushes. Tick! Six-hundred and one! They are stunning birds. I am so grateful! After Friday night, I will wait awhile on “lifer treat” food. We are birding new areas again and that can get out of hand.
Star Finch
Star Finches

Very hot water comes up out of the bore.

I love this shot of our shadows against the backdrop of the bore and its trough.
John Tongue has told me that I can get a badge for hitting the 600 mark, and that I can also get onto Tony Palliser’s, “Birders Totals” webpage. Just wow. That seems unreal to me. There is such an amazing group of birders on that page. I will be so grateful to be sort-of “amongst” them (at least on the same webpage). So grateful indeed...

Birds. Peace. Love.


  1. Yep, same place I first found the star finches. Well done

  2. Congratulations on getting to 600! Well done! And thanks for the great posts along the way, too.

    1. Thank you, Kenn! It's all part of the fun!


Comments Here: