FOLLOW THAT BIRD TOUR – TRIP REPORT
EYRE PENINSULA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 9-23 AUGUST 2006
The first Eyre Peninsular Trip organised by “Follow That Bird” proved to be
a great success from a perspective of both the birds and wildflowers seen
and the places visited. The trip came about through extensive and detailed
reconnaisence by both Janene Luff and myself. The highlights of the Trip was
seeing the Regions endemic and specialist birds and these included Elegant
Parrot at Mt Remarkable National Park, Chirruping Wedge-bill, Rufous
Field-wren and Redthroat at the Arid Lands Research Station; Splendid
Fairy-wrens and Slender-billed Thornbills in Gillies Conservation Park;
Rufous Treecreeper & Gilbert’s Whistler in Gawler Ranges NP, Redthroat,
Gilbert’s Whistler, Black-eared Cuckoo and Crested Bellbird in Yumburra CP;
40+ Rock Parrots in Coffin Bay NP and others in Lincoln NP; Western Yellow
Robin, Southern Scrub Robin, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren & Western Whipbird
(alas only seen by two people but we all had extensive sessions of hearing
their delightful calls up close) in Lincoln NP; while in Whyalla CP great
views were had of the Thick-billed Grass-wren; and Painted Button-quail &
Brown Treecreepers were seen in the eastern side of Mt Remarkable NP towards
the very end of the trip. Black-faced Cormorants and Pacific Gulls were
regularly seen along the Coast from Ceduna to Whyalla, while Ospreys were
seen in Coffin Bay NP. All up we saw 163 species.
Seasonal conditions appeared to be good while we were in South Australia,
everything was exceptionally green, Canola crops were coming out in yellow,
wheat and barley were coming into head and the weather was basically fine
throughout with only one drizzle day and one extremely windy day, the rest
fine and sunny. The wildflowers in the National Parks, Conservation Parks
and coastal reserves were in great bloom. Much to everyone’s delight
terrestrial orchids were found in a number of places including Blue Fairies
Caladenia caerula, Pink Caladenia C. latifolia, Limestone Spider Orchid
Calonema bicalliantum Misty Spider Orchid Calonema capillatum, Gnat Orchid
Cyrtostylis solousta, Donkeytails Diuris maculata, and Midget Greenhood
Pterostylis mutica, some of which have “Threatened” classifications. In many
places the mallee was in flower attracting many honeyeaters, while in the
sand dunes of Yumburra CP, the Bottle Brush Hakea Hakea francesiana was
flowering well, while Cockies Bill in the coastal mallee was bringing in the
birds as well. Elsewhere there was a good variety of Eremophilas and
Grevilleas flowering, so that much time was spent checking the plant books a
swell as the bird field guides.
A feature of the trip was the way the accommodation owners went out of their
way to make us feel welcome. Special menus and great meals were provided for
us and their encouragement and interest added to the enjoyment of the trip.
Finally at four different lunch spots, selected to be overlooking the water,
we were entertained by Dolphins feeding close to the shore (Venus Bay,
Yangie in Coffin Bay NP, Fishermans Pt Linclon NP & Point Lowly, near
Whyalla), while at our early morning breakfast site at Taylors Landing,
Lincoln NP, both Dolphins and Sea Lions were swimming and feeding together.
In addition, we also visited Cape LeBat and Donnington Pt Lincoln NP to view
the Sea Lion colonies.
Therefore I must thank Robin Murray, Jane Miller, Patricia Novikoff,
Bernice Wilcock, Mark Crossing, Rita Johnston-Lord, Stephen Morgan and
Janene, our leader, for making this trip a great success.
(For a detailed itinerary, please contact me direct).
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