Similar to how I've done things in the past, I'll probably let the photos do most of the talking. Yes there are some funny and sad stories along the way, but I'm afraid I simply don't have time to write a book at the moment. Plus most of you just skim the photos anyway.
So here's a brief summary of the Western Australia leg of the journey:
Picked up the rental vehicle in Perth on the morning of December 3rd. Also met Jukka and his Dad there (both had arrived 2 days earlier and stayed with friends while I did the birdathon and they got over jetlag by doing some casual birding). We headed into the Darling Range for a bit of hot mid-day birding, then continued south to Dryandra where we camped.
After a great morning of birding at Dryandra (see below), we continued south to Albany via Rocky Gully. Things were pretty windy in Albany so we had a heck of a time trying to locate "The Big Three" among other things. Instead of continuing east to Fitzgerald River, we camped at Two Peoples Bay then hit it hard in the morning, this time with more success. Onto Fitzgerald River National Park, then Esperance for the night. From Esperance we drove straight to the border with South Australia.
|Jukka and I catching up after TWO long years apart. |
I don't know why we're doing it in the Hertz parking lot... there are birds to see!
|A little blindsnake I found while setting up the tent near Dryandra Forest Reserve|
|Our first "technically illegal" campsite of the trip. This would become the norm|
|Another nice capture by Jukka. This is the (presumed) male feeding one of the juvies [Photo: Jukka Jantunen]|
|Seawatching at "The Gap" near Albany. Very slow-- we didn't even see a Flesh-foot! Only highlight was a reef-heron, spotted by Pertti.|
|Birded Two Peoples Bay in the wind until dark. Managed to briefly hear a scrub-bird but not a lot else. Luckily this baby Carpet Python made up for it on the drive back. We also flushed a family of four boobooks off the road.|
|Jukka's reaction to getting point-blank looks at the "Mallee Whipbird" (a possible split from the Western Whipper). This is Fitzgerald River National Park.|
|Still early on the trip here, Jukka was just firing away at anything that moved. "Russell, I've got something that streaky with a cocked tail and rufous rump." And here it is, the sneaky Shy Heathwren, also at Fitzy [Photo: JJ]|
|Another Common Scaly-foot (pygopus). I've photographed 3 or 4 others but none as nicely patterned as this one |
(Fitz R NP)
|Echidnas are not seen very often in Western Australia, but they're seen even less in Canada and Finland...|
so we were stoked! This is near Esperance I think.
|Nankeen Night-heron [Jukka Jantunen]|
|Another nice shot by Jukka, this time of a Pallid Cuckoo near Esperance|
|Leaving the civilized SW behind (along with affordable fuel and water); it's time to head for the Nullarbor... |
of course it's pouring rain. #ClassicDesertAction
Onto a new state!