In my last post, I wrote about our weekend at Brighton Beach in the southern parts of Adelaide. During our short caravan holiday with a group of friends, we stayed in the Brighton Caravan Park – which is actually in the suburb of Kingston Park. During the weekend, most of my time was occupied chatting with my friends. We spent quite a few hours in our comfortable folding chairs, sitting at the top of the beach watching the passing parade of people walking, running, playing in the water and various water sports. Included in this constantly changing scene were various birds, mostly seabirds.
Probably the most common birds were the Silver Gulls and Crested Terns shown in the photo above. from time to time I would also see immature Pacific Gulls, as well as the occasional Little Pied Cormorant. There was an area of exposed rocky outcrops at low tide, and for much of the weekend, two Masked Lapwings spent many hours foraging for food in the seaweed and rocks. I have shown one of the birds in the photo below. I am amazed at how well camouflaged this bird is against the surrounding rocks.
On the Sunday afternoon, most of our friends went for walks along the beach. I also decided to go for a short stroll, taking photos as scenes presented themselves. The tide was slowly coming in, covering some of the rocky areas and sandbars, providing a smaller area for the roosting birds. I sat on a nearby rock for over half an hour, photographing birds, people, and boats.
A few weeks ago my wife was attending a convention in the southern parts of Adelaide in South Australia. This is an annual event and we usually go with several other couples, staying in our caravans. Previously this convention was always held in Victor Harbor on the south coast. This year the venue changed to a suburb in Adelaide, so we changed our destination for the weekend to the Brighton Caravan Park. We had never been there before and we were very pleasantly surprised. A nice clean park with new facilities and many new cabins. The van site we had included a cement slab. Our van was a mere twenty steps from the toilets and showers.
Always on these special weekends, I look forward to doing some birding. This can take place at any time during the day while the men are lounging around, eating and drinking tea or coffee, nibbling on biscuits and solving the world’s problems. Well… having an opiinion on world matters.
My plans briefly went astray from the first minute after we had pulled up at the entrance. When I entered the office to check in, the caravan park staff were in a mild state of panic. One of the employees had accidently run over an elderly lady staying in one of the park cabins. She had a cut under one eye from where she hit her face on her glasses, and she was quite shaken. As it turned out, her friend took her to a nearby hospital and I spoke to her the next day. She had recovered well from the experience, though she had a nasty looking black eye. The worker who had backed into her bought her some lovely flowers.
After this small amount of excitement, I checked in and then set up the caravan and annex ready for a few days of relaxation. On Saturday morning, the men in our group of friends sat at the edge of the park overlooking the beach. We were entertained by the local sailing club having a small regatta almost right in front of us. Most of the sailors were juniors and several boats tipped over as the sea breeze stiffened a little.
We enjoyed chatting, drinking our coffee while I did a little casual birding. There were plenty of Silver Gulls and Crested Terns flying past, along with occasional Pacific Gulls and Cormorants. Several Willie Wagtails flittered around on the lawn and nearby low bushes covering the low sand dunes. I could also hear Red Wattlebirds and Rainbow Lorikeets in nearby bushes. We were amused and entertained by the numerous Crested Pigeons feeding on the grass, chasing one another and displaying their feathers.
I will write more about this visit in my next post in a few days’ time.
After leaving Bateman’s Bay on our holiday last month we travelled down along the south coast of New South Wales. I navigated us along the coast rather than following the main highway south. I was hoping to get some good views of the coast and also find some useful birding spots.
After only a short drive we came to a lovely beach called Duesbury Beach at the small town of Dalmeny. There were a few people swimming and surfing or walking on the beach, but very few birds.
In fact, we were there for only a few minutes and I made only a short lists of birds: Black Swans and Masked Lapwing on or near a lagoon in the town, several Silver Gulls patrolling the beach, several Australian Magpies in gardens and some Welcome Swallows in several parts of the locality. Not an impressive list, but made up for by the beautiful spot. We then drove on along the coast line.
Click on the photos to enlarge the image.
After our walk down Lady Carrington Drive we drove south through Royal National Park. This drive took us up to the top of the ranges in this part of the park. The change in vegetation over a very short distance was very interesting. From towering gum trees we suddenly found ourselves in gum trees not much more than head high with a very interesting under-story of low heath type plants. There were very few stopping points and my wife was disappointed we didn’t really have the time to spend exploring some of the walking tracks leading off the main road. We are already planning our next trip here.
At one point along this road we took a detour to a locality known as Wattamoola. This road terminates at a picnic ground where we had a delightful lunch looking out over the beach below and the Pacific Ocean out to sea. I didn’t do much birding here but did check out the large number of Pied Currawongs fussing around in nearby bushes. There seemed to an unusual congregation of them, probably twenty or more and calling incessantly. I assume this could have been mating behaviour, but, being relatively unfamiliar with the species I’m not sure.
Several Australian Magpies paraded the picnic grounds and about eight Silver Gulls were on the beach. No other water or sea birds were seen which is disappointing. I really haven’t concentrated on sea birds at all this trip because views of the sea have been very infrequent. As we left a Crested Pigeon flew past.
On the road back out I did make a concession to my plant loving wife. We stopped in a safe roadside spot fro ten minutes to photograph some of the wildflowers. The only extra species added to this locality during the stop was a single New Holland Honeyeater.