And on Saturday, 2 April 2016 Lynn Richardson saw her 600th bird species in Australia. And then saw two more for a total of 602. Yay! I am so deeply grateful. But first, let’s catch up…
Friday afternoon, following a morning of looking at Little Curlews at the ovals (see blog before this one) then hanging out in the library, we hunkered into our air-conditioned room here figuring to have a nap. Then there was a tap on the door. Jamie Jackett said in a put-on American accent (she is Canadian), “I got y’all a plover.” Meaning that John Graff had located an Oriental Plover in a flock of waders only about a kilometer from the Observatory. It is a bird that they all knew we wanted badly. She gave us directions and we leapt into Troopi and took off. Soon, after much sand and dirt flying, we rocked up (literally) behind John’s BBO Landcruiser overlooking the bay, and were soon having beautiful views of this awesome plover. Although he was leading a paying tour, they had waited for us to get there and see that one bird. Very cool! And I was and am, very grateful! It also put Lynn’s Aussie life list at 599.
|Oriental Plover right there in the middle.|
Saturday morning we were up at the crack of dark and rolled out of the Observatory at 5:30am for a morning of birding with Nigel and John. We were heading inland to look for some new birds. After about an hour’s drive, we arrived at a lagoon, and in just minutes, Nigel had us Painted Finch. A bird that Lynn and I had dipped on repeatedly, a bird that is stunningly beautiful and a bird that put Lynn’s Australian life list at 600 species.
|Painted Finches at last (four in this shot).|
|Lynn's #600 official Lifer Selfie with Nigel Jackett and me.|
I am so grateful that Lynn is a birder. That simple sentence means more to me than I can put into words. It is wonderful to be able to share this noble passion. I do get a bit more (too much perhaps?) intense about it, but I do. So I will just say again simply that I am so grateful that she is a birder!
As we continued to look around the lagoon area, John said, “Flock Bronzewing! Flying over those two cows.” We both got straight on it and we had about ten full seconds of watching a flying Flock Bronzewing. Tick 601, I am very grateful (and once again, thank you, John!).
We headed along to another stop at a dry lake and amongst the trees nearby, once again, Graffy (as John Graff is sometimes called) found us a life bird, Yellow-tinted Honeyeater. We have heard that they will be ubiquitous further along our journey, but this one was our first. So it popped Lynn to 602! I am grateful.
Sunday we headed to town for a bit of Honeyeater looking, checking the flowering trees. We saw quite a few Honeyeaters included a stunner of a gorgeous “Golden-backed” Black-chinned, but alas, no Banded Honeyeater yet. I honed my honeyeater pishing skills and had crazy success with Brown Honeyeaters. I thought they might perch on my head at times. We will keep looking. Sadly, the library is closed on Sunday, so there was no wifi and a/c time for us there, and this blog did not get posted.
|Red-collared Lorikeet... so lovely and an armchair tick for us a while back.|
|Black-chinned Honeyeater (once called the Golden-backed Honeyeater and you can see why) |
|Brown Honeyeaters love my pishing.|
So now it is Monday and we are at the library... after a frustrating morning looking at hundreds of terns (some of which were probably Roseate) on a sandbar about a kilometer from the land. Our scope is good, but not that good. We needed an astronomer’s telescope… or a boat.
|Terns... hundreds of them... they were on both ends of that sandbar WAY out there.|
We birded a bit on the way into town before having a bite and hitting the library. I am grateful indeed. Stay tuned there will be more coming soonish...
|Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos on the way back into town.|
|Pheasant Coucal, always a cool bird to see.|
|Lifer on Saturday, 'town bird' on Monday... Yellow-tinted Honeyeater. |
Birds. Peace. Love.