I left Exmouth this morning under the cover of dark, at 04:00 to be precise, which with the benefit of hindsight proved to be a bad move, particularly for the wildlife. Ever since leaving Perth for the north, all roadsides have been strewn with animal carcasses, especially Kangaroo,
but 'free roaming' farm animals, like this huge bullock, fall foul as well. I wouldn't like to have been in the vehicle responsible for this casualty! However, it would unfortunately now be my turn to add to the slaughter and while not a fast driver at any time, at night on dirt roads 60Km/h is the max. Nevertheless 2 x Spotted Nightjar and a Malleefowl scummed to the headlights and were d.o.a. while I remain distraught.
It wasn't a long wait before this SHORT-BEAKED ACHIDNA was found asleep and not showing which end was which.
Please allow me to introduce you to my new Mates
LYNETTE and SUE
of the Onslow Community Telecommunications Department
(aka Come In And Use The Internet Any Time You Like Bagsy)
Apart from the very warm welcome, hot and cold drinks were provided at frequent intervals, when once again the photos wouldn't upload Lynette returned to work (after hours) to give me more time and when I finally left was weighed down with gifts such as a computer bag, pens, notepads etc.
Thank You for great hospitality and kindness, not to mention a good laugh.
What is left of the pier with attendant CRESTED TERNs, but it was now time to take up a comfortable position on the beach and try a little 'sea-watching'. While this has never been my favourite department of the hobby in hot sunshine, with shade if needed and a gentle cooling onshore breeze it wouldn't have mattered if not a single bird past by.
That wasn't quite how it panned out as giving the local breeding WHITE-BREASTED WOODSWALLOWS the once over there was suddenly a flurry of action off-shore. Apart from the cold and wet weather, all of this gave me a feeling of being sat on Chesil Beach and witnessing a decent Shore-Bird passage, but what were passing here we no Waders. They were Parrots, chuckin' hundreds of them, but too distant to determine which species. Flocks numbering from a few 'tens' to quite possibly 1,000 were flying by intermittently but by the end of the vigil there was no clue as to the final total, although a few were identified. Among the throng were COCKATIEL, RINGNECK, ELEGANT PARROT, what looked every bit like MULGA PARROT (which is a Lifer if it can be verified) and most numerous a tiny species that I couldn't make head nor tail of. With the aid of the Field Guide and limited experience all I could conclude was DOUBLE-EYED FIG-PARROT, but just one huge snag as they are confined to just small regions of the East and North East coast.
A large number of inquisitive LITTLE CORELLA then arrived from inland distracting me from the job at hand, not to mention
after which the Parrot passage (if indeed that's what it was - do they 'migrate' Dave?) seemed over. From then on all I had to look at were
more of a bird I have grown to love, especially as they almost land on you when 'pished'
plus 'hundreds' of the dazzling ZEBRA FINCH.
Unfortunately, the post ends as it started when a passer-by pointed out that I had a bird stuck in my grill, which was one of the SPOTTED NIGHTJARs. The only 'up-side' to this will be that 2 primaries and a secondary feather will live on (along with all the other exotic bird feathers from around the world) as part of my Dreamcatcher. A great pity!
Clue - IT WON'T BE CHESIL BEACH!