Adelaide coastal birding

Sunday May 22, 2011

[From the trip Adelaide area birding]

Before and after Easter 2011 we visited some coastal sites around Adelaide over a few days. These included the wader beaches north of the city such as Port Gawler and Thompson's Beach, and the Goolwa/Victor Harbour area. Along the way we checked out a report of Cape Barren Goose at Burra. The birds were at a temporary lake that had filled after the enormous amounts of summer rainfall we've had here. They were unusually brown, perhaps discoloration due to the mud? At 120 km inland this sighting was quite unusual. At the wader beaches north of Adelaide most of the migratory waders had already departed but highlights were Greater and Lesser Sandplover on a inter-dune saltpan. An Elegant Parrot was flushed from the dunes. The coastal samphire contains good numbers of the rosinae subspecies of Slender-billed Thornbill and as usual they provided good views. The next day, south of Adelaide, we explored the area around the mouth of the Murray River. Despite drizzly conditions 9 Rock Parrots were observed here, foraging in the dunes. On and around the barrage small numbers of Black-faced Cormorants were present, while the Whistling Kite was still on its nest in the Norfolk Island pines. Further Cape Barren Geese were seen in the fields around here. On the beach at Victor Harbor, the vulnerable Hooded Plover was still present. You wonder how they survive out there while people continue to disobey signs that clearly state dogs should be kept on a leash. At night Fairy Penguins were observed coming ashore after a day's fishing onto Granite Island.