Birds of Encounter Bay
We are staying in the caravan park next to Encounter Bay, Victor Harbor. This is just over an hour’s drive south of Adelaide, South Australia. During the night our sleep was disturbed by frequent showers. Rain on the roof of a caravan can be quite disturbing. By breakfast time the rain was quite steady.
A Walk becomes a Sit
My friend Keith and I had intended going for a walk this morning, probably around Granite Island. There is a causeway to the island and from the caravan park it takes several hours. The views are quite spectacular on the seaward side. The large waves crashing over the granite rocks would have made for some great photography. The rain did not ease until late in the morning. Instead of a walk, Keith and I sat in the van talking, having cuppas, eating chocolate cake and hot cross buns and reading the paper.
After lunch Keith and I were so exhausted from the morning’s frenetic activities that we both had to have a nap. Life’s so hard. Later we sat around talking with some of the others we knew who were staying in the same caravan park.
A Bird Walk
Late in the afternoon I went for a birdwatching walk to the beach and along the nearby river. I took my camera with me and was able to take some good shots of several species of birds and also some good shots of several yachts at anchor in the bay. Just a few metres from our van there was a small lagoon, perhaps the size of several tennis courts. This lagoon was well populated with birds feeding in, on or above it.
The most prominent species was Chestnut Teal. There were some 30-40 of them. This was a species I hadn’t managed to get photos of as yet. One photo shows three of these ducks all diving for food simultaneously; all you can see is their tails sticking up in the air. They were accompanied by about 30 Silver Gulls swimming around on the surface of the water. Hawking for insects above the water were numerous Welcome Swallows. Several Magpie Larks and a solitary White Faced Heron patrolled the water’s edge for whatever they could find to eat.
Also on the water’s edge was a single bird I couldn’t positively identify. I wouldn’t let me get close enough for a photo or a good look through my binoculars. By its shape, colour, size and habits it could possibly have been a Sharp Tailed Sandpiper.
The Inman River forms the south west boundary of the caravan park and often provides some good bird watching. Several Masked Lapwings, a few more Silver Gulls and two Wood Ducks were seen immediately. Waiting quietly near some bushes on the bank revealed some Pacific Black Ducks, Silvereyes in the bushes and I heard some Superb Blue Wrens in the nearby bushes. A Caspian Tern patrolled up and down the river while a Willie Wagtail flitted around on the lawn nearby.