Birding while travelling
When we travel I enjoy watching out for the birds we see during our journey. Concentrating on driving is the highest priority of course, but it is still amazing what one can see as you go along. For me, it certainly lessens the boredom, keeping me more alert and that has to be a good thing.
Several days ago I wrote about a short break we had in Clare, staying in our daughter’s house. I commented that I didn’t see all that many birds on the way, nothing out of the ordinary anyway. Yesterday afternoon we returned home to Murray Bridge. This time we took a different route. It was a little longer and this didn’t matter as we didn’t have a deadline.
Again we saw the usual species as we travelled. By far the most common were Australian Magpies and Little Ravens. In several places we saw flocks of Feral Pigeons and Common Starlings, especially in the vineyards of the Barossa Valley, arguably Australia’s premier wine growing region. I saw a few Red Wattlebirds, the occasional Crested Pigeon and a few House Sparrows, especially in the towns we drove through and near farm houses.
On our journey to Clare last week I commented on the total absence of birds of prey. They were conspicuous by their absence again today. I only saw two; a lone Nankeen Kestral and a single Brown Falcon, each sitting high atop a power pole.
The highlight of the trip was afternoon tea – no, not the food and the cuppa, though that was very enjoyable and relaxing. We stopped at a park in the old copper mining town of Kapunda, just over an hour’s drive north of Adelaide. My father grew up only a few kilometres from the town.
This park has a number of lawned areas, a barbecue for public use and a number of picnic tables and seats. It also features a small artificial lake. We hadn’t even sat down to pour our cuppa and the stream of ducks was heading our way. It was a fruitless exercise on their part. Also joining the picnic was a family of six baby Eurasian Coots, all fluffy and downy and noisy, begging mother for food while trying not to get too much under our feet.
Naturally I had to race back to the car for the camera. I managed quite a few lovely shots plus a simply lovely photo of a White Faced Heron. Also seen were many Australian Wood Ducks, several Pacific Black Ducks, a single Dusky Moorhen, dozens of White Plumed Honeyeaters and an army of domestic ducks, mostly Muscovy Ducks.
In the nearby trees I heard some Magpie Larks, Rainbow Lorikeets and Adelaide Rosella parrots. I also saw a single New Holland Honeyeater as we drove off.
I am not able to show the photos I took this afternoon. Since the WordPress update we are having trouble uploading photos from our photo gallery to this blog. As soon as this is rectified I will update this post.