We reached Corny Point on the Yorke Peninsula late on the third day of our holiday. The conditions continued to be wild: gale force wind, freezing cold and light showers skimming across the water. Not at all good for birding!
I parked near the lighthouse as shown in the photo above. The passenger side door was facing the full force of the wind and my wife could hardly open her door! Eventually, with a great effort, she did manage to emerge. Standing erect in the gale was another matter, and holding the camera steady yet another challenge.
It was a very disappointing from a birding point of view; I saw only 5 species:
- Singing Honeyeater
- Australian Magpie
- Little Pied Cormorant
- Crested Tern
- Nankeen Kestrel
The kestrel was the only one I managed to photograph – but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see that. Meanwhile, a few photos to show the wild conditions.
On the third day of our recent holiday on Yorke Peninsula we decided to go for a drive along the south coast, despite the wild, cold wind and persistent drizzling rain. At first we drove to Sultana Point on the southern edge of Edithburgh. We’d been here several times some years ago to do a spot of fishing with family. This was not a day suitable for a casual stroll on the beach, or for beach fishing. The wind was strong enough to blow one out to sea.
We stopped for only a few minutes while I scanned the beach for birds, focussing in particular on an exposed sand bar just out a way from the water’s edge. About 20 Little Pied Cormorants were trying not to get blown away. Several Silver Gulls tried to fly along against the gale. Much further out to sea a solitary Australasian Gannet was diving repeatedly into the water, as is their habit. This was a good sighting because I’ve only seen this species on a handful of occasions. It was too hazy and too far off to attempt a photo. (You can see photos of this species here.)
As we left this area and drove through the collection of holiday houses at Sultana Point I also recorded Willie Wagtail, Singing Honeyeater, Common Blackbird and Spotted Turtledove. Not a big list but the conditions were very poor. You get days like that. It makes the good birding days even greater.
The Crested Tern can be found right around the Australian coastline. In some cases it can also be found along waterways some distance inland. In the case of the bird in this photo, it was near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia, only a few hundred metres from the coast.
Crested Terns can be found alone or in small groups but they range up to breeding colonies numbering in the thousands. While they prefer coastal habitats they can also be found along rivers, lakes, freshwater wetlands, estuaries, salt swamps, bays and inlets.
Crested Terns are found in abundant numbers around the coast of Australia. They are one of our common terns and can gather in large numbers on beaches, islands, rocky outcrops, estuaries, tidal rivers and sometimes even some way inland along rivers.
They breed in large colonies, often on off shore islands. Their nest is a scrape in the sand or on rock.
In the photo above there is a single Australian Wood Duck perching on the rock on the far left hand side.