Well I just got back from six days of solo touring around the SW corner of Western Australia. To go along with the general theme, it was a very enjoyable voyage and nice to get away alone for a bit and see the country from a more touristy point of view. The two main goals of the trip:
#1 Explore the impressive and unappreciated/unknown (outside Australia anyway) karri and tingle forests of the SW corner of the state, as well as the adjacent scenic coastlines.
#2 Do some scouting around the Albany area for an upcoming "twitchathon" event (aka "Big Day" or "birdathon")--essentially an annual competition held in Western Aus (and elsewhere), to see what team can record the most bird species in a 24-hour span. I've been invited to join the Ecologia team so I thought I'd better make up for my lack of experience by staking out some of the tougher species hanging out near the south end of our route.
Like the last post, this will be mostly photos with captions to describe roughly what's going on. I'm busy people okay!
|Ah, finally-- a Spotted Pardalote not obscured by leaves! Looks like she's building a nest.|
|One of the highlights of this trip is visiting the "Valley of the Giants" where the Dep of Conservation has built a canopy walk to take tourists like me up into... the canopy... of these massive forests. In this case--Tingle Trees.|
|I believe this section of the canopy-walk is 40m above the ground. So pretty solid height.|
|Not surprisingly, when you get up this high, the birds come to you. Here a pair of Baudin's were doing some pair-bonding on a nearby snag.|
|Back down on the ground: Look a big lightning-scorched tree!|
|Oh and another one?|
|This Western Rosella landed right beside me, but before I could get a good photo, a Kiwi-lady shouted, "OH MY GOD! DAVE! LOOK AT THIS BIRD!!!!" And it flew away.... tourists...|
|Good to see DC is cracking down on those "don't have to pee but still go into the washroom and flush the toilet" pranksters.|
|Better views of this guy--a massive King Skink! (About 0.5m from nose to tail-tip). Basking against a tree at first light.|
|Another poor photo, but hey--it's a Southern Emu-Wren! Another one you rarely get open-views at.|
|After Albany I headed east to Cheyne's Beach (the other Big 3 location). Here's a nice limestone outcropping nearby--gotta chuck in some scenery right?|
|This is an Elegant Parrot... looking rather elegant I dare say|
|One of my top 5 sunsets I'd say. Not much diversity in colour, but because of the flat landscape, this orange glow just seemed to stretch on forever, and last much longer than I would have thought. One of those times when you just stand and stare...|
|Here's a neat one. Convergent evolution at work! This is a Varied Sitella. Looks like a nuthatch, acts like a nuthatch, but is from a totally different family!|
|Another lifer. The Rufous Treecreeper (abundant at Dryandra). It appears this juvenile bird is considering a career in the honeyeating business.|
|Daddy's not impressed. "Get back on the tree and start creeping!"|
|Let's play a game. Find the Bush Stone-curlew|
|Here's a picture of my favourite eucalyptus: Eucalyptus rhodantha. This bush type eucy grows to about 3 or 4 meters in height. The pink flowers are about 10cm in diameter and are a favourite of honeyeaters.|
|A common bird in Australia--but a cool one. (Crested Pigeon)|
|And finally--here are some Little Corellas taking a lil nap at Lake Gwellup in Perth|
G'by for now---relaxing around Perth for a few days, then it's off into the bush again for some real work!