Last Saturday I had a meeting in Gawler which is just over an hour’s drive from home. I had a little time on my way home, so I stopped for a hour at Hale Conservation Park near Williamstown in the Mt Lofty Ranges. We often drive past this park going to or from our daughter’s home in Clare, but we’ve only ever stopped a couple of times. This time I had a hour of birding on a lovely sunny winter’s afternoon.
The birding was a little slow with only a handful of species obvious, mostly calling. A few days ago I showed a photo of a Scarlet Robin (click here) that obligingly posed near me. I saw quite a few Yellow-faced Honeyeaters flitting around in the tree tops, but none settled close enough for a decent photo. The best of a poor set of photos is shown below. This is the best photo I have of this species, which probably means that I need to get out birding more often seeing it is quite a common species.
The final photo on today’s post is a close-up of some of the wildflowers growing in the park. I must visit again in the springtime when plenty of native plants will be in flower.
Today I attended the meeting of a writers’ group to which I belong. It was held in the home of a fellow writer who lives in Gawler, about an hour north of Adelaide and just over an hour’s drive from my home. It was an inspiring time hearing about the projects of my colleagues and the discussion lasted several hours – until the lunch food beckoned. The talk still continued over the meal.
On my way home I decided to do an hour of birding in Hale Conservation Park, just a few kilometres from Williamstown in the Adelaide Hills. It had been a few years since I’d walked through parts of the park. Despite the welcome sunshine, birdlife was a little slow. A few birds were calling but I didn’t see much. Eventually, just as I was about to turn back towards the car park, I saw a group of honeyeaters feeding in several trees near the path. They were Eastern Spinebills, New Holland Honeyeaters and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters. Most didn’t sit still long enough to focus my camera on them, though I did manage a few shots of the Yellow-faced.
As I was following them around, a male Scarlet Robin came and perched on a branch less than two metres from me. I had about three seconds to zoom, focus and press the shutter. The bird was gone just as quickly as it had come; I didn’t see it again. I’m so thankful that I managed to get it more or less in focus.
Sometimes you just get lucky!