Saturday, November 25, 2017

O'Reilly's and More Returning From SEQ

So after the Hudwit Twitch blog entry, I will go back to finish the story of the South East Queensland trip. I awoke that Saturday morning, 11 November, tired and aching (knees particularly). Then Robert and I realized that we were only a little over 3 hours from O’Reilly’s and Lamington National Park. A magical land was just around the corner so-to-speak and off we went.

I first visited O’Reilly’s in January 2011. I was still a fairly new birder and I was dazzled, stunned, enthralled. It was one the places where I fell utterly in love with Australia. It will always be a place to return to for me. We spent two nights camped there. Here are a lot of photos of this wondrous place…

The obligatory O'Reilly's King Parrot selfie

The road up to O'Reilly's is legendarily winding.

Short-eared Brush-tailed Possum that was in the tree just over Robert's campsite.


O'Reilly's symbol... the male Regent Bowerbird

Ms Regent Bowerbird
Australian Logrunner in the early morning 

Wonderful Wonga Pigeons in first light...
I needed to return to the Tiny House by the end of the week, so after two glorious days, I began heading back. Robert and I drove in tandem for a bit of the journey, stopping at Cunninghams Gap for a lovely bit of tea cake. It is a gorgeous spot where Satin Bowerbirds climb around on the picnic tables trying to grab a bite.
The two Troopies

The last stay of the trip, I went to Glenrowan Caravan Park because I had heard Turquoise Parrots were consistently seen there. I rocked up at about 2:30pm and was watching a beautiful male parrot grazing in the grass within a half hour. I highly recommend this place as a caravan park and birding spot. It poured rain later that evening, but I was snug and dry in my Troopi. The next morning it was still sprinkling, but between showers I got beautiful views of four of the Parrots. I will return there soon (it is only three hours from Lara).


And White-browed Babblers were bouncing around the caravan park as well.

So, so, so I need to get working on the ‘first and a half’ rewrite on the book about the year of traveling and birding the entire continent of Australia. It is tentatively called, “The Year.” Clever, yes? I do have a way with words.

Stay tuned… Sending love from the Tiny House.

PS, I "think" that you can sign up for emails regarding new blog posts. There should be a thing on the right side of the page for that now. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Twitching Rock Hudwit

We interrupt our regular blogging to bring you a twitch. Troopi and I arrived back from Queensland and I wrote the Black-breasted Button-quail blog entry. Yay! I was beginning to work on the entry about the rest of that trip when I heard that a Hudsonian Godwit was reported on Reef Island. I had the Thanksgiving dinner with the kids on Saturday, so Sunday morning I headed to Reef Island. It is about 2 hours from the Tiny House.

I collected Owen Lishmund at the Glen Iris Station on the way and we were on the beach near Reef Island by 10am. My dear friend, Karen Weil as well as Jannette and Peter Mannis were already there. There were several other Victorian birding friends as well and more arriving. I think it ended up being 15 or so of us. You gotta love a Sunday twitch! It was pretty straight forward as to where to look for the little godwit flock. See the below map.

After spending some time out on the island, I ended up watching and waiting with my friend Kevin Bartram for the godwits to fly in from their rocky roost. Kev has now unofficially named the bird, Rock Hudwit. “Hudwit” being the Aussie nickname for the Hudsonian Godwit as is Barwit and Blackwit for Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits.

One of my favourite moments from the day was my friend Adam Fry’s response when a few of us were suggesting we move in to the beach to wait for the godwits. They were continuing to stubbornly remain on the far side of the little pile of rocks. Adam said, “I kinda want to see it.” Then a short pause and he added, “And I know where it is.” And then he glanced toward the beach and said, “And it’s not there.” His timing and delivery were perfect. It still makes me smile to remember it.

This  blog entry is leaning heavily on the photos (a lot of Hudwit photos). It was a joyously successful twitch with dear friends. And twitches, and life don’t get much better than that. 

Much love from the Tiny House...