>From the 4/9/05 to 14/9/05 my wife and I traveled to South Australia in
search of the Scarlet-chested Parrot and Black-eared Miner.
Our route was Central Coast, Wagga, Mildura, Gluepot, Port Augusta,
Ceduna, Coffin Bay, Port Lincoln, Peterborough, and Cobar.
Gluepot: What a fantastic job Birds Australia has done with Gluepot. The
visitors centre is terrific, the campsites are great and the volunteer
warders Bob and Fran were extremely helpful.
I found the Black-eared Miner relatively easily but it is not an easy
bird to get close to. They kept moving away when you got within 40-50
metres of them. Eventually I saw a bird that I was convinced was the
"real McCoy"- Dark rump, extensive black in face, no white in tail and a
call like a Noisy Miner.
Other birds included: Brown-headed, Striped, Spiny Cheeked, Yellow
Plumed and White-eared Honeyeater; Brown and White-browed Treecreeper,
Hooded Robin, Ringneck and Mulga Parrot; White-browed and
Chestnut-Crowned Babbler; Dusky Woodswallow; Rufous Whistler; Jacky
Winter; Variegated Wren; Grey Currawong; Striated Paradalote. I heard
I had planned to stay a little longer and look for some of the other
Gluepot specialties especially Red-Lored Whistler but the flies made
camping very unpleasant so we moved on. Gluepot had 20 mms of rain just
prior to our visit so it would be a great time to visit.
Ceduna: The objective was the Scarlet-Chested Parrot at the Yumbarra
Conservation Park but alas it was not to be. Despite three visits and
lots of hours there was no sign of the parrot. Birds seen in the mallee
here included Purple-crowned Lorikeet; Gilberts Whistler; Yellow-plumed,
White-fronted and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters, Yellow-rumped Thornbill;
Restless Flycatcher; Common Bronzewing and Red Wattlebird.
Port Lincoln/Coffin Bay: This was definitely the highlight of the trip
both in terms of birds and scenery. Memory Cove was just beautiful and
the coastline is wild and rugged. I saw Purple-gaped Honeyeater,
Southern Scrub Robin and the most beautiful male Blue-breasted Wren here
and well as Rock Parrot on the heath on the way in. Tawny-crowned and
New Holland Honeyeaters were common in the heath. Horsfields Bronze and
Fantailed Cuckoo were also seen. Hooded Plover were seen at Coffin Bay
We traveled along Whaler's Way. The coastal scenery is spectacular but
not much different to the National Park. I'm not sure it was worth $25
but is certainly interesting. Bird highlights were Rock parrot,
Peregrine Falcon and a Gannet. There is colony of Fur Seals at the base
of one of the lookouts. Incidentally this is less than 1 km from Fishery
Bay where the surfer was attacked by a Great White the week before we
were there. One suspects Great Whites have trouble distinguishing
surfers and seals.
The country side is a sea of green particularly in the wheat belt. From
about 200 km west of Cobar, yellow and white wild flowers abound among
the grass. Flocks of White-browed and Masked Woodswallows abound and
Brown Songlarks in display flight were seen every couple of Kms. Major
Mitchells appeared to be exploring nest hollows about 20 km east of
Cobar. Interestingly, were saw at 100+ Feral Goats feeding in small
flocks beside the highway to the west of Cobar. The country looks much
better west of Dubbo than it does between Dubbo and the Coast.
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