Arrived Perth on Good Friday the 13th, twelve hours late thanks to CASA
spitting the Easter dummy. Late in the afternoon we picked up the hi-top
Toyota, topped up the tanks, stocked up on Tip-top and tea, ticked off the
Turtle-dove, (Laughing) and took to the trail, which ended two weeks, 6500km
and many people, places and birds later.
Westen Australia is bigger than Texas, which fits with room to spare into
the southern half, below the tropic of Capricorn, and over which we spread
our efforts, sparsly, with results ranging from the sublime to the
ridiculous and plenty in between.
Of our alltime best birding memories, one of the half-dozen most sublime
is the crystal-clear echoing of a Pied Butcherbirds' drawn out fluting calls
through a limestone gorge in Cape Range National Park, with the spectacular
multi-colours of the gorge walls lighting up in the morning sunlight as
background, and rock-wallabies looking on from both sides.
The most ridiculous of this trip; ticking a dirty feral White (Mute)
Swan from the bridge over the stagnant black water of the terribly misnamed
Avon River at Northam about a hundred km. east of Perth, and a feral Peacock
being fed fast-food from the table by teenagers lunching in the centre of
the Rottnest Island settlement.
The most satisfying; superb prolonged scope views of birds coming into
Cogelin Dam in Dryandra in the late afternoon and early morning, instead of
fleeting glimpses .Especially the incredible glowing richness of a male
Brush Bronzewing in the twilight as it sat by the water's edge before
gulping up it's fill and hurrying off.
The most interesting; watching the different techniques used by
Carnaby's and Baudin's Cockatoos and a Western Corella to extract seed from
The most frustrating; a Noisy Scrub-bird screaming abuse from
inside a matted shrub a foot in front of my toe, invisible to the end.
The most elusive; the Western Shrike-tit.
The most forgettable; 6000 of the 6500 km of roadside scenery we
Part #2, Perth to Nallan Station to follow, soon.
50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge
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