Some observations from the 4 desert, 3 state, 3 grasswren circuit [pt 3]

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Some observations from the 4 desert, 3 state, 3 grasswren circuit [pt 3]
From: knightl <>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 19:47:31 +1000
The next day we came across our first breeding birds when we stopped to have a poke around a wetland. As usual, there were larks everywhere
doing their display flights [some undulating, others hovering]. When
Brian flushed a lark that weaved with an interesting action along the
ground.  When Julie said it looked injured, I told Brian he was
probably beside a nest, and sure enough, there were a trio of
hatchlings in a hole made by a cow traversing the sodden ground.

After a few quick pix, we left the nest to the lark and continued
poking around. I noticed a brown falcon cruising around like a harrier [less than a metre above the ground] and also hopping about. We
weren’t sure if it was after insects or looking for nestlings.

We found a pair of red capped plovers beside the creek at one water
crossing and found the climb through Mungeranie Gap a pleasant break
from the general flatness.  While there was a strong north-easterly
wind down on the plain, it was fairly still after we crossed the gap,
and made our way to the pub for lunch [they do reasonable toasted
sandwiches there], picked up some water [which had petrochemical
overtones] and had a dip in the hot springs.   There were a couple of
corellas preening above a nest hollow, the odd black winged stilt and a brolga wading in the waterhole.

There was also a cyclist who was heading back to Melbourne [his last
decent bike shop had been at Mt Isa].  He had a nice following wind
that day, then a fierce headwind the next, when a cold front came
through – the temp was about 14 degrees cooler.

We stopped for a couple of pix, and so didn’t miss the Tirari Desert as
we passed through it.  We spent the night at the Clayton Wetland
campground – I got some nice pix of some blue bonnets and a little
eagle, while Julie found a freckled duck on the billabong on the other side of the road.

On the run into Maree, we came across some interesting cinnamon quail
thrush on the gibber – some were relatively chestnut coloured, and had a fair bit of that chestnut intruding onto their breast, with limited white on the breast. In some ways, they seemed to be a cross with the NQT or CBQT.

[pt 4]
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