Birding around Robe SA

Subject: Birding around Robe SA
From: "Peter Ewin" <>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 22:49:34 +1100
I have also visited Robe (camping at Long Gully Little Dip CP) in the last month as well as a few days at the Coorong (mainly around Salt Lake). Also visited Messnet & Martin Washpool CP briefly - the former has been burnt (or at least the parts I visted) about 3 or 4 years ago (though I am only guessing). Weather wasn't too hot (in fact sometimes quite cold) and generally windy (though I suspect that part of the coast is like that regularly.

My aim was to track down a few subspecies that I hadn't seen and was generally successful.
Saw one new species:
Rufous Bristlebird (subspecies broadbenti) - Calling commonly at Long Gully camping area at Little Dip and finally got a reasonable view. Also heard around Robe itself (including right at the harbour) and one was seen twice on the edge of the road just north of Salt Creek (I reckon it was the same bird seen about an hour apart).

Saw 6 new subspecies:
Rainbow Lorikeet (eyrei) - Feeding in trees in the middle of Robe
Superb Fairy-wren (leggei) - everywhere, I just haven't been to this part of the world. Southern Emu-wren (polionotum) - Chased around near Salt Creek (in weird coastal saltbush habitat) and never really got a good look. Much better views of two groups at Messnet CP Striated Fieldwren (bourneorum) - One seen on the road at the edge of Little Dip CP and another two seen on the sand dunes at Tea Tree Crossing, Coorong NP. Striated Thornbill (clelandi) - At the mallee camping grounds at Salt Lake in Coorong NP - seemed to be restricted to the "taller" patches of Pink Gum. Beautiful Firetail (interposita) - A pair was next to the road right in Salt Creek township and another one was heard at Martin Washpool CP.

A few other good birds included (some are probably common but things I haven't seen for a while):
a Malleefowl at the first camping area near Salt Creek.
Fairy Terns & a Pacific Gull at the wharf in Robe
1000s of Banded Stilt at the Coorong (mainly near the Pelican viewing spot but scattered elsewhere). Had Banded & Pied Stilt + Avocets in the binoculars at once which was nice.
Great views of Shy Heathwren and Southern Scrub-robin at Messnet CP.
Ordinary views of Purple-gaped Honeyeaters at Messnet and Martin Washpool CP. Blue-winged Parrots (my guess - only got one response to my questions a while a go) at Messnet (1) and Martin Washpool (about 6) Skylarks everywhere (couldn't turn one into a Singing Bushlark) and I was surprised how common Greenfinches were (seen in Kingston and at Freshwater Lake in Little Dip CP). Hooded Robin male with juvenile between Tailem Bend and Karoonda on the way back.

Like Jack I also saw loose squadrons of 20-30 Musk Ducks in the sea near the Kingston jetty and was surprised at the number of Whiskered Terns around both Robe and the Coorong. I would also say that both Brush and Common Bronzewings are at Little Dip CP.

A great first trip to the area and hopefully I will get the chance to visit a few other parts of se SA from Mildura in the near future.

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