Kangaroo Island birding

To: birding Aus <>
Subject: Kangaroo Island birding
From: scouler <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 13:10:21 +1000
My wife and I spent the week of 12 - 19 June 2000 on holiday on Kangaroo Island. It wasn't just a birding trip (my wife is a dedicated non-birder) and the conditions weren't ideal (winter, and Murray Lagoon, one of the main birding sites, was pretty dry). But I still managed a total list of 69 species, and was quite pleased with that.

Personal highlights were:

  • A close view of a Glossy-Black-cockatoo in Latham Conservation Park near Stokes' Bay
  • Two Hooded Plovers on the sandy beach at Stokes' Bay (KI is a stronghold for this endangered species)
  • Good views of Purple-gaped Honeyeaters (only my secound sighting of this species, which is common on KI)
  • A good view of a Purple-crowned Lorikeet feeding in a flowering eucalypt at Pardana school
  • Cape Barren geese in the meadow beside the National Parks and Wildlife Service HQ at Rocky River, some sitting on nests, others parading with their striped goslings
My experience with the Western Whipbird (I suppose we better start calling it the Mallee Whipbird) mirrors that of most other people. A couple of Whipbirds were calling within metres of me around Cape Borda, but I caught not so much as a glimpse of them in the dense undergrowth.

One of the birds I was looking for was the Indian Peafowl. I'm sure the NPWS staff had me pegged as a twitcher (which is not entirely true) when I enquired about the Peafowl. To a person, they expressed contempt and loathing for the IP, not just because it is feral, but because it is very destructive to the nests and eggs of native birds. I didn't find the IP, which apparently occurs around Murray Lagoon and near the mouth of the Chapman River at Antechamber Bay.

Getting off the topic of birds for a moment, I must mention the spectacular beauty of some of the scenery on the island, and the marvellous tour of the Australian Sea-lion colony at Seal Bay run by the NPWS. Kangaroo Island deserves to be better known outside South Australia.

Colin Scouler

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