The following morning we headed east towards Blinman, stopping at Parachilna
Gorge where we saw White-browed Babblers, more Elegant Parrots, Rufous
Songlark, Yellow-rumped Thornbills, Peaceful Doves, Grey Shrike-thrush and
Rufous Whistler. Several parties of Emus were seen from Blinman to Stokes
Hill, including one with 3 chicks.
We arrived at Stokes Hill look out near Wilpena Pound at about 11 A.M. with
a gale blowing. Chances of Short-tailed Grasswren? , slim we thought. Though
after an hour of me searching and Lynn sitting in the one spot , I returned
to find that she had followed a bird down the hill but eventually lost it. I
went back to the spot where she had been sitting and lo and behold out
popped a Short-tailed Grasswren, giving excellent but brief views before it
too bounded down the hill. The location was 150 metres due south of the map
at the look out.
Onwards to Clare where we spent the night and visited a few wineries the
next day. I had an early morning walk through a conservation park just south
of Clare and added several species to the trip list ; Adelaide Rosella,
Mistletoe Bird , Golden Whistler, Musk Lorikeet, Common Bronzewing ,
White-winged Chough, Yellow-faced Honeyeater , Brown Goshawk, and
Black-shouldered Kite. Around a farm dam were about 40 Black-tailed
Coming out of Kilikanoon Winery ,we stopped and watched half a dozen Diamond
Firetails feeding on the side of the driveway, a fabulous bird.
On our way to Adelaide we dropped into St Kilda and added Superb Fairywren,
Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper , Red-necked Stint,
Red-capped Plover, Pied Oystercatcher and Cape Barren Goose. We also saw
another Slender-billed Thornbill and over a hundred Black-tailed
We stayed two nights in Adelaide on the Torrens and early morning walks
added a few common species not seen inland. A lone and very obliging
Black-tailed Native-hen finally allowed me to get good video footage of this
flighty species. A pair of Australian Wood Duck with 24 ducklings must have
been baby-sitting !
Off to Melbourne on the Saturday night for two nights for what I thought
would be a non-birding part of the trip, visiting friends. However they live
at Port Melbourne and when I looked at the map realized I was not far from
The next morning I set out at 5 A.M. to walk the 2 kms to the park and saw
about 45 species in a couple of hours there. I was pleased to see one of my
nemesis birds, Green Finch were common here . Odd that one of the last
Finches for me to see in Australia was a feral Green Finch. I have seen them
overseas where they are native.
There were also Gold Finches present. A Little Grassbird flew across one of
the lakes at one stage and Clamorous Reed Warblers were both vocal and
visible. Many birds were nesting or had young, including Hoary-headed Grebes
, Chestnut Teal , Black Swan , Eurasian Coot. A Nankeen Kestrel flew over
and a Horsefield's Bronze-Cuckoo was calling nicely right below a Green
Finch calling at the top of a bush.
All in all we saw about 130 species in South Australia and 45 at Westgate.
Within a 5 km radius of Lyndhurst and out the 28 kms to the CBWF site we saw
42 of the 130 species seen in South Australia.
In relation to recent reports of House Sparrows on the decline, I have to
report that they have all moved to South Australia as they were everywhere
we went, including small outback towns and out of the way farm houses.
Until the next one
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