About a month ago I got a message from a couple of fellow bird photographers from over in WA. They were coming over to SA soon and were keen to catch up and get out for a day's birding. Always keen to get out if I can we set about organising a day to get out! Luckily for me their visit coincided with my couple of weeks of long service leave I was taking at the time, so it worked out well.
An early start was mandatory and with a couple of quick stops to pick up my mates Lisa and Craig who were coming along as well... we pulled up in Heather and Shelley's driveway at about 6am! The weather didn't look like it would be our friend and it was drizzling as we loaded all the camera gear. It kept drizzling all the way to our first stop... Laratinga Wetlands! I would've never picked it... but as we pulled into the wetlands carpark the clouds parted and the sun shown through!
Laratinga proved to be fairly quiet and apart from a quick session for Lisa and I with a group of feeding Australasian Shovelers... and a backlit Little Pied Cormorant and some Superb Fairy-wrens for the whole group... the photographic opportunities were limited.
|Australasian Shoveler - Laratinga Wetlands|
We spent around two hours in this spot and had some fun with quite a few species, highlights would of been finding the Diamond Firetails in fairly good numbers, a co-operative Australian Owlet-nightjar, a Restless Flycatcher, a Southern Boobook and plenty of other cool birds like Purple-crowned Lorikeets, White-winged Choughs etc...
|White-winged Chough - Browns Rd, Monarto|
|Immature Diamond Firetail - Browns Rd, Monarto|
|Southern Boobook - Browns Rd, Monarto|
|Diamond Firetail - Browns Rd, Monarto|
|Australian Owlet-nightjar - Browns Rd, Monarto|
|Lisa, Shelley, Craig and Heather slowly sneak up on the little AONJ watching from it's hollow!|
Once in the gate we had only gone about 150m in when we came across a female Hooded Robin sitting up high on an exposed branch.. We stopped as Shelley wanted a chance to photograph it. As I got out the car I spotted a bunch of Sittella's in another tree! Typically busy they were proving hard to photograph... but eventually we all managed some pretty reasonable shots :-)
|Varied Sittella - Brookfield Conservation Park|
|Lisa, Shelley and Heather returning to the car after the Sittella session! By this stage as you can see the weather was lovely :-)|
|Chestnut-crowned Babblers - Brookfield Conservation Park|
|Splendid Fairy-wren - Brookfield Conservation Park|
|Mulga Parrot - Brookfield Conservation Park|
|Gilberts Whistler - Brookfield Conservation Park|
We found a few more species as we headed towards where we guessed the others were. But by now the light was fading fast and it was time to head back to the car. I put the call out to the others and we all got there about the same time! Everyone had found a few species in this spot and it had been a good way to finish the birding for the day! We drove around the Bluebush track just for the hell of it and watched an amazingly beautiful sky as the sun set on another day! Next was the long haul all the way back down to Hawthorndene where Shelley and Heather were staying... and then all the way back home to Freeling! It was a big day but totally worth it for the good fun birding and great company of four other like minded people! Hopefully everyone come away with some nice shots and I for one had a great time! I'm sure the others did too :-)
|Heather, Lisa, Shelley and me! image by Craig :-)|
|Craig missed the group shot so here's a shot of him trying to photograph White-fronted Chats :-)|