Comrades… Writing to you from Kangaroo Island, which is simultaneously one of the more expensive, and awesome places I’ve been to. Overly touristy in some places, yet secluded and isolated in others, it’s an exercise in contrast. It’s also given me birds 505 (Purple-gaped Honeyeater) and 506 (Mallee Whipbird – or Western Whipbird depending on your taxonomy). The other super awesome part of KI is that there’s Hooded Plover everywhere – I’ve got photos (I’m gonna stop saying “as soon ad I get Internet access” and just say “when I get back to Sydney”) of adult and juvenile birds – something I’ve struggled with with the only nearby birds bein at Ulladulla and below for me.
Th PgH is quite common – we’ve seen dozens of them, although I’ve only managed to get photos at Sandy Creek within Flinders Chase NP. The whipbird involved far, far more effort. I had 4 sites to look at initially, with a couple more backup sites, and even still didn’t expect to nail it. Driving down Cape de Coudiec road towards Admiral Arch, I’ve seen reports of people seeing them flying across the road early in the morning (I’ve seen similar behavior wig the much more readily observable Eastern Whipbird), and th first few Brush Bronzewing that flushed got the heart going. And then I saw something that was pretty bloody good for one. It was a very different shape, and scuttled rather than flew across the road. Not tickable, but exciting nonetheless. Anyway – I spent the next 3 and a bit hours walkin through the Heath from Cape de Coudiec to Remarkable Rocks without any joy whatsoever, and was walking back to the car at Remarkable Rocks planning an afternoon assault on Cape Borda, when I heard a whipbird call, right behind he toilet block at Remarkable Rocks. The I saw one as it saw me, and for 0.25 seconds, our eyes locked, and I felt the joy of bird 506 as it dropped down from the exposed(ish) branch, into the dense Heath and then it called again, off and on, for the next 4 minutes before getting the shits with me trying to get him/her to pop back out. Happy days!
Anyway – currently in American River, off to Murray Lagoon to look for Indian Peafowl early tomorrow, and then the next day we start our trek through SE SA, where I’ll be looking for Orange-bellied Parrots for a few days (they’ve been reported in the area – first OBPs of the season apparently!). Although before all that we’re still trying for the local race of Glossy Black-cockatoo – no joy so far though.
Anyhoo – happy birding,and I’ll see some of you in about 9 days time when we get half to