WA Trip Part 11

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: WA Trip Part 11
From: "Lynn" <>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 18:18:50 +1000
3 days to go after this one !

DAY 10


Up early and again back to our vantage point on top of the sand dune above our camp. We eagerly await the arrival of the Princess Parrots but alas they do not oblige. We pack up and leave camp by 8 A.M. and head onwards to Well 35.


On the way we observe two Spotted Harriers and two brown Falcons having a bit of a spat. We also find a Masked Woodswallow on a nest 5 metres up in a fork of a Desert Oak. Several more displaying male Pied Honeyeaters are also seen.


Well 35 has plenty of surface water in patches and is heavily vegetated with Melealucas making walking too far through it difficult. However a group of 5 Yellow-billed Spoonbills are added to our trip list.


We fast track to Well 33 and say goodbye to the Canning Stock Route.

We visit ?civilization? at the aboriginal community of Kunawaritji (population 118) and refuel and re-water. This is a picture compared to the communities of Balgo and Mulan to the north and had won tidy community award the previous year. It has only been built in the last few years so is still new but is well run. Many birds were taking advantage of the sprinklers in the gardens here.


On the road again! We take the Kidson Wapet track to the north west; a road which will be our own for the next two and a half days as not another vehicle or person is seen.


Now that the pressure of finding PP?s is behind us we spend more time looking for some of the birds that we missed. However it is still very windy, making finding the smaller birds like Rufous-crowned EmuWren and Striated Grasswren very difficult. We aim to reach Lake Auld (dry) for our overnight camp. On the way we see a group of about 18 Camels, our first for the trip, having seen plenty of tracks.


Walking through a patch of older and bigger Spinifex Grass we manage to get brief glimpses of our first Spinifex Bird. I manage to get reasonable views of one climbing through the grass at the base of a bush and then watching it scurrying away on the ground with it?s tail cocked up in the air. Not everybody sees it. This bird was very reddish-brown in colouration much more so than the picture portrayed in ?Slater?. Birds that we were to see later varied from reddish-brown to grey-brown as suggested in ?Pizzey and Knight?. Five minutes later we find, and all have stunning views of a group of Orange Chats. Now having seen three species of Chats on this trip there was much debate over which one was the best, very hard call as they are all pretty special. I think I would lean towards Orange, followed by Crimson as far as striking colouration goes.


Whilst we were gallivanting around the Spinifex looking for these birds and Debbi was sitting quietly back in her vehicle, a Kaluta (Spinifex Antechinus) sauntered across the road in front of the car.


We make camp just before dark, again finding another roadside quarry to camp in free of Spinifex Grass and vegetation for our fire. We have travelled about 150kms north west of Kunawaritji, crossing 28 sand dunes and seeing 35 species of birds.



Australasian Grebe

White-necked Heron

Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Black-shouldered Kite

Spotted Harrier

Little Eagle

Brown Falcon

Australian Hobby

Nankeen Kestrel

Eurasian Coot

Black-winged Stilt

Black-fronted Dotterel

Crested Pigeon

Diamond Dove



Australian Owlet-Nightjar (heard)

Red-backed Kingfisher

White-winged Fairy-Wren

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater

Singing Honeyeater

White-plumed Honeyeater

Black-chinned Honeyeater

Brown Honeyeater

White-fronted Honeyeater

Pied Honeyeater

Crimson Chat

Orange Chat

Rufous Whistler

Willie Wagtail

Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike

White-winged Triller

Masked Woodswallow

Black-faced Woodswallow

Zebra Finch




Dick Jenkin


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