Black Grasswren

To: "Birding-Aus" <>, <>
Subject: Black Grasswren
From: "Bill Moorhead" <>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 11:06:22 +1000
Hi Folks,

Having passed the turn-off to Mt Elizabeth Station many times previously (off the Gibb River Road, Kimberleys, WA), we designed our most recent trip from Bundaberg around seeing my last amytornis. We got some good gen from a friend on the Heard Is trip that Bachsten Ck is a good spot to see the magnificent Black Grasswren.

Peter and Janet are fantastic manager/hosts at this terrific little camp 150 km or so north of the GRR through Mt Elizabeth. Google it to get the details (there are track fees etc. and you need to make sure the track is open and dates of when the camp is open). It takes a good day 4WDing to drive in off the GRR but it is well worth it. We took a rugged 4WD camper trailer and it took longer , so we bush-camped on the way in and out stopping regularly. It is a truly stunning drive and camp through this sensational Kimberley country with many great wildlife highlights including Western Giant Cave Geckos, Monjons, Partridge Pigeons and my favourite non-bird, the Golden-backed Tree-Rat. We passed owner Rick on the way back out and he explained that surprizingly few birders venture out to Bachsten.

I have not been looking for BGW at Mertens Falls but I understand that the grasswren is easier at Bachsten nowadays and much (much) quieter......we barely saw anyone else and saw no other birders. I know that Rick and Anne would like birders to know about this gem and they (along with the managers) are happy to direct people to the best spots.

A 9,000 km trip turned into 10,000 as we diverted to the Alice on the way home to twitch my no. 791 Aus bird, the Forest Waggy. Thanks to Chris Watson for the updates and ,of course, Will and Anne in Alice Springs for letting us see such a great vagrant (Jack's bird of the trip).



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