Tuesday 20th November. Arrived in Australia last Tuesday afternoon and spent the first three nights at the delightful Old Brush cabins near Mulbring…real ‘bush’ place with an outside dunny and resident spiders! A nice combination of ‘family time’ with Dan, Morgan and the boys – Sam, Jonah & Sol, and a bit of bush birding. By the time we came to head for Port Stephens, our next stop, I’d added five new species to my Australian bird list, including the ‘must see’ Regent Honeyeater.
Port Stephens, on the Tomaree peninsular, was our next stop and the departure point for our next pelagic. Family time on Saturday and then the big boat trip – could it live up to the high expectations created by the very successful Chilean pelagic. The short answer is ‘yes’, with three species of albatross, two storm petrels, three petrels, five shearwaters, three jaegers, two terns and a penguin, it was awesome! Five more additions to the Aussie list.
We’re now in a cabin in the Blue Mountains, with a planned trip ‘out west’ tomorrow and Thursday – meeting up with brother Rob and sis in law Gi for a family weekend, prior to going up to Darwin and the ‘top end’ on Sunday.
The cabin at Old Brush
First new species for Australia – Green Catbird
and now the ‘must see’ Regent Honeyeater – a seriously threatened species!
Painted Snipe – a very difficult bird to find in Australia
and to complete the ‘quintet’ – a Banded Stilt, rare on the east coast. It’s the white bird looking left in the centre of the picture
A shot of our pelagic as it heads towards the ocean
First pelagic species, Arctic Jaeger
Black Petrel – similar to White-chinned and Westland Petrel, seen in Chile
A lovely White-faced Storm Petrel
The amazing, spectacular, Wandering (Snowy) Albatross
Shy Albatross – rather like Salvin’s, seen in Chile
..and the ‘jewel in the crown’, Cook’s Petrel – only one seen on average a year in the whole of Australia!
And on the way back, at a distance this bird excited imaginations as possible Spectacled Petrel – turned out to be just an aberrant Wedgie!
That’s all for now, hopefully some more new Aussie birds to blog once we get back from our trip to mallee country.