Birding on a trip to Loxton
I wrote yesterday about my recent trip to Loxton and the Blue Bonnet Parrots I saw along the way.
Over the years I have become very observant of the various species of birds encountered while I drive. It sharpens my observation skills while at the same time proving to be a very frustrating birding experience. Many a time I’ve wanted to stop and look at something but have been unable due to being in a hurry or some sort of time schedule. There is much too much hurry in this world. We all need to stop and smell the roses – or in this case – look at the birds.
As I drove along early last Monday morning I was enthralled by the drifting fog along the road. Visibility was still quite good so I didn’t need to modify my speed too much, but it heightened my alertness, which is good.
By far the most common bird observed on the two hour journey was the Australian Magpie. These are often seen in twos and threes on the side of the road, on fences or feeding in the nearby paddocks. This journey took me through the transition zone between the White Backed and the Black Backed subspecies (click here for more details). I saw both.
Also very common were the many Little Ravens on the side of the road and in the paddocks. I may well have seen some Australian Ravens too, but I didn’t stop to check them out. White Winged Choughs were also common all along the route. Several times I saw a Noisy Miner fly across the road in front of the car, along with the occasional Red Wattlebird and Singing Honeyeater.On one occasion I stopped briefly to have a drink and a bite to eat. I heard several Weebills in the mallee trees nearby, as well as a Brown Songlark a distance away. I was unable to track down where it was before needing to drive off again. Oh – the frustrations of birding to a time schedule!
One of the surprises of the trip was the almost total absence of Willie Wagtails. I’m sure they were there in good numbers; I just didn’t see many. More common were the Red Rumped Parrots and Mallee Ringnecks flying across the road in front of the car. Even the Common Bronzewing Pigeons were more frequently encountered than the Willie Wagtail. Strange.
Another delight was to see a single Grey Butcherbird sitting on the fence near the road. Several times I also saw a Grey Currawong flying along through the trees.
Other species observed as I drove along included:
- Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike,
- Australian Magpie Larks,
- House Sparrows,
- Common Starlings,
- Welcome Swallows,
- Crested Pigeons,
- Rock Doves,
- Nankeen Kestrel
- and one Black Shouldered Kite.
That makes quite a nice list of species seen.