BIRDFEST IN SOUTH-WEST WESTERN AUSTRALIA(Part II)
Chris Coleborn

From the Sterling Ranges I went to Cheyne Beach. This is a very restful little sea-side fishing village surrounded by Waychinicup National Park. It is famous for three very special birds, all very difficult to observe because of their secretive habits and the type of thick heath and wet watercourse vegetation. All of them have very loud calls, but that does not mean one gets to see them. I was quietly working at getting views of all three. They are the Western Whipbird, Western Bristlebird & Noisy Scrub-bird. The Noisy Scrub-bird was thought to be extinct up to recent times, when it was discovered in the Two People’s Bay area, which has since been made a National Park. By careful management, this special bird and the two others have gradually spread to new areas, such as Cheyne Beach.

Before setting out to see if I could find the special three, I was delighted to pick up the Red-winged Fairy-wren, White-breasted Robin as I was setting up my camp. I thought both species very attractive, and enjoyed all future sightings of them. I had envisaged the White-breasted Robin to be a bit like a Jacky Winter, but that was not so. They really have a lovely white breast that separated the yellow of their chest and undertail.

I was somewhat uncertain that I would get to see the special three. So many have come looking and gone away empty, or else having quite unsatisfying views. On the afternoon of my arrival on a long walk, I heard the Noisy Scrub-bird and the Western Whipbird calling, but could not get anywhere near a view. I went to a damp area on a creek going into Waychinicup National Park, and had a fleeting glimpse of a Noisy Scrub-bird after a long wait listening to it call. I was prepared to spend days looking for them if necessary.

The next day dawned settled and sunny. Not long after sunrise I went to an area where the Western Bristlebird had been reported, and sat and waited. This little bird is most often seen at the edge of the heath when feeding. Thankfully it seems to have a fairly regular daily routine, and appears in some areas and patches on a fairly regular basis. After about an hour, I heard it singing. With baited breath, I quietly moved along a road to where I could hear it. There was some movement among the low shrubbery beside the road, and then there it was, the Western Bristlebird, hopping along, scratching and pecking in the lovely morning light. It hopped up into the low branches of a stunted banksias shrub, and gave a joyful song of thanks for the day. You little beauty! Its chestnut-grey colours, mottled with white looking delightful to this birdwatcher. I was able to watch it for some three or so minutes before it became quiet again and vanished into the wilds of the heathland.

Returning to the site where I had previously heard the Western Whipbird, I commenced walking around a path through the heathland. I heard it call, and moved towards it. About half an hour later it called again. I had gone too far, so back I very slowly went. There was a bird in the distance sitting on the top of a flowering banksia bush. I focused on it - there it was - a Western Whipbird. It started singing again, and I was able to slowly walk towards it and had great views of it for about 7 or so minutes as it sat in the top of its bush and kindly turned this way and that as he called and sang his song in the morning sunlight and viewed his world from his lookout. I was able to get good views of its facial markings, which distinguish it from the Mallee Whipbird.

Going down to where I had previously heard the Noisy Scrub-bird I was met with silence. A big search - but I came up empty. Mind you, there were other interesting birds around, such as Ospreys, Pied & Black Oyster Catchers, the Western subspecies of the Southern Emu-wren,Fantail Cuckoo etc.

After a rest, and some searching for the Red-eared Firetail Finches that the caravan park owners said were commonly around, which I found were not common or around, I went back for another look for the Noisy Scrub-bird. Hearing it calling loudly from a thicket I was stumped as to how I would get to see it. The vegetation was very thick, and the Noisy Scrub-bird was in the middle of it. After some frustrating time walking slowly and quietly around trying to see it, or get it to come out and see me, so I could see it, I resolved that if he would not come out to me I would go in to him. I had to get down on my belly and quietly snake in on elbows and knees toward him. (My jungle training in National Service during the Vietnam War era paid off in more ways than one!) I lay quiet and there he was! The little fellow came over to look at this monster lying on the ground. He several times sang, the pale feathers of his chest puffing out as he gave his all in his ringing song. He isn’t called "Noisy" for nothing. He then scratched and fed, occasionally stopping to look at me and move about me. He stayed for about 5 minutes or more. I really felt it was a privileged sighting, and I was very content and satisfied.

One hears about the birds and wildflowers of the South West of Western Australia, and justly so. What one rarely hears about are the ticks! So sophisticated are the tick’s mechanisms, they enable the tick to puncture skin, rip flesh, stop clotting and inject saliva. They are both a deadly efficient sucker of blood and a spreader of bacterial infections, including Spotted Fever, or Tick Typhus, and the far more debilitating Lyme disease. Having had a really bad run-in with Scrub Typhus or Spotted Fever caught from a tick whilst birdwatching in South West QLD; I am very, very sensitive about those critters. Only the love of a bird could make me endure lying in that scrub looking for that little elusive Noisy Scrub-bird, and feeling as though thousands of wretched ticks were swarming onto me. I saw the Noisy Scrub-bird also in a creek gully at Waychinicup, but nothing like the views at Cheyne Beach.

I called in on Two People’s Bay, but was disappointed with it after all I had heard. An extensive bushfire had been through the area maybe a year or so ago, and the country was greatly disfigured and barren, though I thought Little Beach delightful! I spent some time looking for the special birds in this area, but there was not sight or sound of them.

Onto Albany and a view of The Gap, where one can often pick up sightings of sea birds. There were nice views here but the weather conditions were not right for sea birds. From here I went north to Mt. Barker, and onto Lake Muir. The surrounds of this lake are a very reliable place for sightings of the Southern Race of the Western Corella. I was delighted to add this endemic to my list, and had excellent views of them, particularly of one at a nesting hole.

I went down Thompson’s Road to Walpole through some really majestic forests. I camped near Walpole, and looked for Red-browed Firetail Finches, which locals told me "were everywhere". I looked in the "every" and I looked in the "where", but ne’re a sight or sound of them did I find! I did find a most wonderful place to visit here called The Valley of the Giants. This wonderful towering forest is made up of mainly Red Tinglewood trees, which are not quite as tall as the Karri, but have huge buttressed lower trunks, some up to 11 metres around and many with hollows in them in which one could comfortably camp. There was one where cars could park in it. There are also Karri, Yellow Tinglewood and much understory trees such as Karri Oak, Wattle etc. It was here that I had some further very good views of Long-billed Black Cockatoos. How very enjoyable was the tree top walk here through the canopy of these giants.

Going on to Northcliffe and Pemberton, I continued to marvel at the wonder of the towering forests and flowering understory of lesser trees and shrubs. At Pemberton I climbed the Gloucester Tree, over 60 metres tall, with its lookout at the top. One climbed up around spikes struck into the trunk of the tree to the top tower. It could be a bit scary, especially with the breeze causing the huge tree to sway as one climbed. It was a bit of a thrill to ring my family on my mobile phone from the top - no trouble with reception here!

At Pemberton I also had a good look for the increasingly elusive Red-browed Firetails, but my looking was all in vain. Passing onto Augusta, I arrived at Cape Leewin, where I spent a night. Here two oceans meet - the Southern and the Indian. Here too I saw my first Common Sandpiper and once again I enjoyed seeing such birds as Red-winged Fairy -wren, Rock Parrots, the Western form of the New Holland Honeyeater, White-breasted Robin, Western Spinebills, Short-tailed & Flesh-footed Shearwaters. It was from a lookout here that I had my first view of the Indian Ocean, and at last I had reached the Western side of our great country.

The Cape Naturaliste area is very attractive, and being coastal, has many bays, headlands and small islands. I will not quickly forget the dream like view of Red-tailed Tropicbirds, displaying and calling over Sugarloaf Rock. Imagine a huge pyramid shaped rock jutting up out of a glorious aquamarine sea, the sun shining, the air cool on a warm day, the fresh scents of the ocean around you, the flower clad heath extending out on cliffs and headlands that gave a panoramic view of the this rock. A most delightful setting. Then envisage about 12 large strikingly white birds, with just a suggestion of almost misty pink, beautifully shaped, with long red tail streamers fluttering from their tails, riding the wind currents up beside the rock, displaying, calling, milling all around the rock, flying up and down as they called. I felt so contented in watching them, and it was with great enjoyment I lingered here.

I kept looking for the special little Red-eared Firetail Finches, including the birdbath at the information centre at the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, where they have often been reported, but without success. I even backtracked when an officer from the Conservation & Land Management Dept told me of a spot about 40 km back. A two-hour and more search turned up no finches.

I travelled on my way through Busselton and Bunbury and camped the night on a side track just before the town of William. I made my way to Narrogin and from there to my next scheduled stop, the Dryandra Woodland. This woodland area is now renowned as one of the last remaining sanctuaries of the Numbat, and some other rare and endangered marsupials of the west. Ever since I was a little boy I have been fascinated by, what is to me a very special and beautiful animal, the Numbat, and have longed to see one. This woodland is a haven for them because CALM, the conservation department of Western Australia, constantly baits 1080 poison for foxes, which are the main predator of Numbats and most of our special little marsupials. Did you know that 1080 poison was developed from a wildflower, a type of peabush that grows in the South West? Our native animals are immune to its poison, but it is fatal for introduced animals such as foxes, dogs and cats. The project has been an outstanding success, and Numbat and other marsupial numbers are increasing for the first time in a long time. Plans are being made to extend the scheme elsewhere. I did come to love the 1080 bush!

I was at this site for several days, including a Lord’s Day. For the first couple of days I drove and walked a great deal, seeing and enjoying some great birds, such as Bush-stone Curlews, Western Gerygone, Little Wattlebird, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Western Rosella, Red-cap parrot, Painted Button-Quail, Scarlet Robin, Elegant Parrot and other birds of the dry, open woodland, but did not see a Numbat. I really enjoyed one night viewing a Woylie, a Bettong or type of little Kangaroo Rat. This special little animal was once widespread all across southern and central Australia, but is now confined to several small areas in Western Australia. The Dryandra Woodland is now a stronghold for them too. I also enjoyed sights of Short-nosed Echidnas and various reptiles, but no Numbat. I was told of several places where they were to be seen, but had no success locating them in those places. On the Lord’s Day afternoon I decided to go for a little quiet walk near to where I was camped. It was a still, warm afternoon, with lazy birdcalls now and then around me, and wildflowers making a brave show, even though it was rather dry. I was stunned into immobility when my eyes focused on a Numbat sitting upright like a little Kangaroo on a log. He also was frozen into immobility. I slowly raised my binoculars, and marveled with awe and wonder at the most wonderful and bright combination of yellow, rufous, brick red, black and white, with white stripes across it dark grey to black back. It is so finely and delicately formed, with very bright eyes and a fine pointed muzzle and bushy tail - about the size of a cat. After awhile, it moved with the grace of a ballerina on top of the log, as it turned around and looked at me. It was uncertain what to do. It moved off the log onto the ground, and after a few more shy looks at me, took off into the undergrowth of the woodland. How I enjoyed that look - and I wasn’t even looking for it at the time!

The Dryandra Woodland site is also where CALM is setting up a special zoo/educational centre for quite a few of our endangered little marsupials. It is due to be opened late in 2002. I was sorry to have missed being able to see it. One thing I did not miss though was ticks! Here it is nearly two months later, and I am still itching from tick bites I picked up at Dryandra.

Moving onto Madurah, I was pleased to see some of the Western subspecies of the Red-tailed Black Cockatoos and very nice they were too. I made my way to Fremantle, and was also able to also catch up with a bird only found in Western Australia the introduced Laughing Turtle Dove. I only stopped overnight in Fremantle so that I could make a trip to Rottenest Island early next morning. The morning dawned bright and fresh and I really enjoyed the trip to the Island. This Island reminded me somewhat of Magnetic Island off Townsville in North Queensland, but with its own unique character and beauty. It is simply one after another of scenic and pristine little bays and headlands, washed by pale blue crystal seas.

Just before reaching this Island I was delighted to see two Bridled Terns. I also picked up a good sighting of some Fairy Terns on the Island. Though I have seen feral populations of Pea Fowl (Peacock) & Common Pheasants previously, they are not always recognized as wild birds, so I wanted to see them where they are officially recognized. Almost the first bird I saw was a male Pea Fowl displaying. I also had a good view of a couple of Common Pheasants, one a brightly coloured male. There were also other interesting birds, such as some Banded Stilts on a brackish lake, along with good numbers of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Red-necked Stints, Ruddy Turnstones and various other waders. Ospreys were breeding on a cliff off the scenic western end of the island. Perhaps the animal I most enjoyed seeing on the Island though was the Quokka, a cat sized marsupial - like a little tubby Kangaroo. The early Dutch explorers thought the Quokkas looked like rats, and because the Quokkas make a little grass nest to rest and hide in during much of the day, called the Island, "Rat’s Nest" Rottenest Island!

The last opportunity I would have of seeing Red-eared Firetail Finches was near Armadale, south east of Perth. They are seen at times in Wungong Dam & Gorge, along with many other of Western Australia’s endemic birds, though all in small numbers. I searched unsuccessfully all the afternoon of my arrival in the car park and adjoing areas where it is often seen. I was back there first thing next morning after bush camping up the road. After several hours of no success, I decided to go along the advertised Wungong Trial. For about 3-4 kilometres I walked, alert and searching for them and was preparing myself to have to accept that I had missed seeing these little endemics. What a deep sense of satisfaction it was when finally patience paid off. I saw some movement it some bushes beside the track, and as I focused my binoculars on them, into view came a pair of these little beauties. While I do appreciate the Beautiful Firetail Finch of Tasmania and Southern Victoria, I really think these are more aptly described as "beautiful", for they are so marked in so beautiful a way. I had good views of this pair about 4 km along the Trail for several minutes before off they went about their business. Happy with my sighting, I moved on to my next port of call.

What a work of art were the next birds I had set out to see. I had previously seen Mute Swans in Nth Tasmania, but I enjoyed seeing them all over again at Northam Weir, in the Avon Valley. They were nesting, and not only swimming, but walking around on the banks of the weir. What elegant and majestic birds they are as they swim along with their wings raised.

From Northam and on the road to Moora, I started looking for my "next bird". I had in mind to track down the Wheatbelt Form of the Western Corella. I did not see them in the recommended places, but after Moora, I was able to see a flock of them feeding on the ground beside the road. Getting my scope out, I noticed they were feeding on seeds in the same way as a flock of Western Galahs, not digging up the ground as the southern form does. They also appeared to have a different call. Some suggest they really are a different species altogether to the Southern Form.

I went from Moora across country to Geralton and from there to the Cape Peron Peninsula where the town of Denham, and the famous Monkey Mia and Shark Bay is to be found. It was my hope that I could get across to the special Island of Dirk Hartog to see, among other things, the Black Race of the White-winged Fairy-wren, but there was no transport available. While I could not get to the Island, I found the Peninsula a very special place.

There is a special fence across the Peninsula, and the area around it regularly baited with 1080 poison, to keep out foxes, and to a lesser degree, feral cats. All this is to help create a special sanctuary for various marsupials and birds that are nationally endangered and vulnerable. Some of them have survived only on the Islands off the coast, but are now being reintroduced to places such as this on the mainland. The Peninsula is near the 27o parallel of latitude where two types of ecological regions meet. This Peninsula is also the fartherest Western most point of the Australian mainland. Having been out to the lighthouse at Byron Bay, the Eastern most point of the mainland, it was intriguing and satisfying to be able to go to the Western most point.

One of the special birds of this area is the nominate of the species of the Thick-billed Grasswren, texilis. Several of these birds ran across the road in front of me as I was driving into the area. Later that day, birdwatching around the Peron Homestead, I was able to get some very good views of them, and also of Chiming Wedgebills and down on the beaches, such birds as Bar-tailed & Black-tailed Godwits, Grey-tailed Tattler & Common Sandpipers.

Monkey Mia, though highly commercialized, is a special place where a subspecies of Bottle-nosed Dolphins swim close into the shore and will mingle with people, some Dolphins allowing themselves to be touched. I stayed for about an hour and enjoyed seeing the Dolphins up close and their socializing with people. A glimpse of what Eden must have been like before the fall, and what one-day Paradise will be like.

Leaving this area I moved on to what was to be the fartherest point that I had planned to go north, the town of Carnarvon. I had enjoyed my time at Cape Peron Peninsula, but was disappointed that I was not able to see and enjoy some of the special marsupials of the area. The local wildlife authorities were not at all helpful in that matter, though pleasant enough.

Carnarvon reminded me a bit of Rockhampton, or a small version of Townsville. I guess we all tend to identify new places in comparison to places we have already visited. I booked into a Caravan Park, where I was planning to stay for three nights. This would allow me to stay over the Lord’s Day, the only time I would be in a town on a Lord’s Day, and able to worship with other local Christians. The other Lord’s Day, I had a supply of sermon tapes by a gifted preacher, and a supply of suitable reading to give me some good spiritual food for that day of worship and rest. I found the Anglican minister, a graduate of Moore Theological College in Sydney, to be soundly committed to Biblical teaching and our historic evangelical faith. The North-West Diocese, of which Carnarvon is a Parish, is known throughout the world as a bastion of evangelical faith.

I not only enjoyed some fellowship in Carnarvon, but some birdwatching, especially among the mangroves. I had heard that it is just about the fartherest point south where you can find Yellow White-eye, Dusky Gerygone & Mangrove Fantail. All three of these birds live in Mangroves. Near the small boat harbour, I was both amazed and delighted within about half an hour to find all three of these new birds for me, and had excellent views of them on more than one occasion, even if it meant trudging through the mud at times to see them.

I could hardly believe my eyes, but after furious checking and double-checking, I was so pleased to see a Ruff on the Carnarvon Sewage Works ponds. It was a new bird for me. (I guess bird watchers are the only people who delight in such places!). Another new bird was Roseate Tern. It is a most gracefully shaped Tern, with a flush of pink and a very delicate double-pointed tail. It was flying along a river. Other interesting birds in the area were Brahmany Kites, Little Egrets, Common Sandpipers, Striated Heron, Greater Sand Plover, Buff-banded Rail, Square-tailed Kite, Lesser Sand Plover, Sandlings, Eastern Curlew, the Western form of White-plumed Honeyeater, (smaller, with yellow head and pale yellow body), Pied Honeyeater, Red Knot, & Terek Sandpiper to name a few.

Having accomplished what I had set out to do in Carnarvon, I returned to just before Geralton, where I headed inland to Mt. Magnet. On reflection, I was sorry that I did not head directly inland from Carnarvon and then turn south. In that way I would have perhaps seen some Northern inland birds such as Flock Pigeons. I will try to remember that for another time, God willing. I had heard of several sites not far from Mt. Magnet where Grey Honeyeaters were regularly seen. I passed through this area mid afternoon on a very hot day. The country was so dry and blasted with drought, that there was hardly a bird to be seen. I spent several hours here, and more hours along the way looking for it, and while it would have been nice to have seen this special and rare little Honeyeater, I had been privileged to see it several years ago up North-West of Alice Springs so could pass on to other birds and sights.

I moved onto Cue and Nallan Station, just north of the town of Cue, where I had hoped to see the Western subspecies marginatum of the Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush. Previously I had seen the nominate race of this species in south central Queensland. I searched for several days all through the area and travelled here and there looking for it, but was not able to find it. I felt I had been shown so much already of new birds that to allow myself to be too disappointed over not seeing it would be most ungrateful. So, I was able to leave not seeing this bird for this time. Perhaps it will be given me to return to the area another day and enjoy seeing it.

Though I did not get to see this special bird, and Burke’s Parrots that are in this area, (I had previously seen them several times), I did get to enjoy some others though. The weather had turned very hot, and birds were scarce. At a most attractive site, Walca Rock, a large granite formation rising out of the mulga scrub and plains, I found some special birds. I enjoyed seeing again such as Western Bowerbird, the Northern form - all rusty underneath - of the Grey-crowned Babbler, Collared Sparrowhawk, Mulga Parrot, Slaty-backed Thornbill, Diamond Dove & Little Woodswallows.

At Nallan Station, where I would have liked to stay for some days, there was a great selection of birds too. I think most of the birds I picked up at Walca Rock, I saw here, with the additions of Black-faced Woodswallow, Crimson Chat, Chiming Wedgebill & Crested Bellbird. This working sheep station offers a range of accommodation, and would be an ideal site to rest and enjoy the country. The people there, also know their birds, and are most helpful. My time was running out, so I felt I could not linger, and should move on to return to my family and calling back at Cohuna. It was still a long way to home though, and I had a few more new places to pass through yet.

I made my way South to Kalgoolie-Boulder. It was an interesting town with some lovely old buildings, though I thought Coolgardie was just as special and not so noisy, being almost a ghost town. I also knew of Coolgardie through a Christian friend of mine, Peter Carins, who had a distant cousin that was the last of the old dry blower gold miners of the area. The local historical society has preserved "Uncle Jack’s" hut as a monument to the early gold miners.

I really liked the country around this area of open woodland, and there was plenty to see as I went onto Norseman. The dry conditions continued all along the way, and while there were birds about, they were not very outgoing and obvious. Newman Rock for example is quite renowned for its birds, and I had thought to camp over night here, but it was as dry as could be, and fires were burning in the area, and hardly a bird to be seen or heard, so I moved on, once more on the Nullarbor Highway.

It was a pleasure to see again the different sites I had seen coming over, and I stopped here and there to explore a little bit more. At Cocklebiddy I drove out on the track that goes to the Eyre Bird Observatory as far as the escarpment lookout. I had hoped to see the Western form of the Major Mitchell Cockatoo. (Their crest is all reddish without a yellow band in it as the Eastern form has). There was no sign of these lovely cockatoos. I did however see another bird that I was hoping to view, and that was the Western subspecies of the White-eared Honeyeater. I had given up hope of seeing one, so it was a satisfying and pleasant surprise.

As I came down off the escarpment on the Nullarbor Highway, where there is a long section where the highway runs along the coastal plain, I was so amazed and delighted to see a pair of Major Mitchell Cockatoos feeding alongside the road. There was no other traffic at the time, and so I stopped, got my scope out and had a most enjoyable time watching them feeding on bushes and on the side of the road. They obligingly raised their crests from time to time too so that I could see the difference between them and their eastern cousins. God is good in so many ways, and I was thankful for this token of His goodness too - the privilege in His providence of seeing these special birds when I had already seen so much.

At the top of the escarpment, just before the Western Australia border is a small roadhouse village called Eucla. I was so pleased to see there was a little chapel here and some evangelical literature available in it, including copies of the Creation Science magazine. It was heartening to see this Christian witness in so remote an area. From Port Augusta, I proceeded to Wilmington, Ooroo, Burra, Morgan, Waikrie, Pinaroo and a stop over at the Pink Lakes in the Sunset National Park in Western Victoria. I briefly visited some of my favourite sites around this area as I moved in a steady but leisurely pace homeward. I continued to see and enjoy the birds too. I saw more of the Major Mitchell Cockatoos - eastern form this time and at Lake Walpeup Reserve I enjoyed some good sightings of White-browed Treecreepers & Gilbert’s Whistler.

There were many other adventures I had as I went along and searched for the various species and subspecies for which I was looking. It was a wonderful trip in many ways. It was a real spiritual retreat for me, and a wonderful time of enjoying God’s work of creation, especially the birds. I was able to see 24 new species. They were, Red-tailed Tropicbird, Common Sandpiper, Ruff, Bridled Tern, Roseate Tern, Laughing Turtle-Dove, Short-billed Black Cockatoo, Long-billed Black Cockatoo, Western Corella, Western Rosella, Red-capped Parrot, Scarlet-chested Parrot, Noisy Scrub-bird, Red-winged Fairy-wren, Western Bristlebird, Dusky Gerygone, Western Thornbill, Little Wattlebird, Western Spinebill, White-breasted Robin, Western Whipbird, Mangrove Grey Fantail, Red-eared Firetail, & Yellow White-eye.

I was also very pleased to see here and there the following new 37 subspecies or forms, which, to me, was just as satisfying as seeing new species. They were, Purple Swamphen, Red-tailed Cockatoo, Crested Pigeon, Galah, Ringneck, Splendid Fairy-wren, Rufous Fieldwren, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Yellow-throated Miner, White-plumed Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Western Yellow Robin (yellow rump form), Gilbert’s Whistler, Magpie, Australian Raven, Silvereye, Striated Heron, Little Corella, Regent Parrot Elegant Parrot, Sth Emu-wren, Weebill, Red Wattlebird, Hew Holland Honeyeater, Grey Fantail, Dusky Woodswallow, White-eared Honeyeater, Major Mitchell Cockatoo, Peregrine Falcon, Dusky Woodswallow. (I realize that some of the "experts" are not agreed on some of these being subspecies.)

Among the other birds seen along the way that I had previously seen, but was glad to particularly see yet again, were, Square-tailed Kite, Terek Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler, Great Knot, Red Knot, Long-toed Stint, Bush-stone Curlew, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Fairy Tern, Diamond Dove, Mulga Parrot, Rock Parrot, Red-backed Kingfisher, White-browed Treecreeper, Rufous Treecreeper, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Southern Emu-wren, Shy Heathwren, Redthroat, Slaty-backed Thornbill, Slender-billed Thornbill, Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Pied Honeyeater, Crimson & Orange Chats, Southern Scrub-robin, Ground Cuckoo-shrike, Little Woodswallow, & Western Bowerbird.

Though physically tired by the trip, it was really very refreshing inwardly. I returned home thankful for so much that God has so freely given, and with a fresh sense of and wonder at His greatness and love in Christ Jesus.

"O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches. Bless Thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord."
Psalm 104:24 & 35b




This report was published in The Christian Bird Observer’s Magazine, April 2003