Friday, 25 May 2012

Lily the Pink - Scaffold

It was decided that this camp would be just the spot to enjoy the luxury of a bed for a change, and an ideal springboard to 'scratch that itch' which is a revisit to the Salt Pans at Port Gregory. Readers may remember that on that first visit there was hardly a bird to be seen (certainly no water or shore-birds), but the potential seemed great and well worthy of another look
On the way back the first MISTLETOE bird of the trip was found, but an unobliging little devil which only allowed production of this single poor shot.
Therefore we have resorted to Wiki Wonder to publish 'not to be missed'
images of this avian delight. More were seen during the drive to Horrocks but again without photos.
For me it's always good to get back to the coast, and very quickly on this occasion
managed these fair photos of a long overdue 'flying' PIED CORMORANT.
Still plenty of AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE-LARKs about
and the odd fly-by PACIFIC GULL but it was time to check in. Chris, of German ancestry, looks after the place here and along with a few staff take very good care of all guests. Having settled in, stowed the food bought en-route and made acquaintance with some new mates (who are very fond of Ritz crackers) LAUGHING TURTLE DOVE
there was just time to commit this HAWK-MOTH to the fridge for closer inspection later. To give some idea of the lie of the land
this photo was taken at NORTHAMPTON, the main hub of an open community here, where I got the groceries and may find a reliable source of Internet connection should it be needed. So, the hour had arrived, late afternoon, to find out if my hunch had been worth the drive back and although we have seen, and published photos of
before these almost Christmasy images
were already making it worthwhile.
RELAX? I don't think so! Even though I would be sitting down for the next few hours it was not to RELAX!
Just before reaching the sign above and about one mile from the village centre there are a series of half a dozen small pools on the left
and the wide expanse of what I now know to be The Pink (Hutt) Lagoon.
Salt, I am told, is no longer gathered here but this naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs when algae 'blooms' and produces beta carotene, a pigment that is a far more lucrative aquaculture crop.
Back across the road and a little nearer town are the redundant Salt Pans, part promising looking fore-shore
while the rest is open, shallow water. This is where I was hoping to find some action,
and even from a distance 'small' Waders could be seen which couldn't have been too impressed with my approach and became even more distant. Stints, most certainly but that far away even with the 'scope could not be positively identified, not by me at least.
There were however (3) other 'fish to fry'
 the first of which were about 50 very elegant
Next 2 dozen BLACK-NECKED STILT, some adults
along with a few still showing traces of juvenile plumage were seen.
Along with all of these was one showing a pure white head and neck, which I photographed simply because it looked so beautifully pristine. The final 'fish' was the real McCoy
as Chris's husband Robert had been fishing the reef, just a mile off-shore, including me in his success with this huge side of
 REEF TROUT much sort after even around here. Gently 'kissed' each side in butter for a couple of minutes on the barbie, what an end to a day when the hunch turned up trumps!

Checking through the day's photographs later in the evening, I noticed 'The Beautiful One' had more than a trace of reddish-brown about the shoulder and upper breast and a quick thumb through the Field Guide proved it to be not a Black-necked Stilt at all but an adult
a LIFER but could you count it under such circumstances? More of that later, but for now I have to prepare for an early start tomorrow.