Sunday, January 23, 2011

Yorke Peninsula Birding Weekend

I decided to get away this weekend so I phoned my friend Teresa and invited her to join me for a birding weekend on the Yorke Peninsula.  I arranged to meet up with my friend Colin Rogers at the Cheetham Saltfields in Price on Saturday morning so the 3 of us could spend the day together.

On the way to Price we called into Port Arthur and found 38 Eastern Curlew who flew past us looking for an area in the Mangroves to land. Teresa and I have found 41 Eastern Curlew there in the past! They are an awesome bird!

Eastern Curlews

At Price the 3 of us had a very enjoyable 5 hrs driving around the Saltfields and found some good birds.

Please note: if you want to go in there you need to be a member of Birds SA and have completed an OHS induction before being allowed entry!!

Highlights at Price Saltfields included  Red Necked Avocets, Banded Stilts, Banded Lapwings

Red Necked Avocets

Banded Lapwing

We saw 11 Whimbrel with good views through the scope but difficult to photograph - simply too far away!

There were lots of waders including hundreds of Red Knots, Curlew Sandpipers and Godwits.

Young Banded Stilt with broken wing

Juvenile Black-Winged Stilt


Red Capped Plover

Grey Plover


Colin also found a Terek’s Sandpiper and called me over but it moved behind vegetation and refused to step back out so I dipped on that one! BUGGER!!!

We then went to the local hotel for lunch before checking the local paddock where last year we had Oriental Plovers, but sadly this year it has a crop on it! No sign of the Plovers anywhere nearby.

Colin the went off on his own and Teresa and I headed on to Port Giles, Edithburgh & Sturt Bay.

Then onto Gleesons Landing.
View from Gleesons Landing

We had great views of 3 Eastern Reef Egrets.

Eastern Reef Egret

Also found an Osprey feeding, 2 Hooded Plovers and 7 Rock Parrots.

Hood Plover

Rock Parrot

Rock Parrot

Rock Parrots

Gleesons Landing is a lovely place but sadly so many people camp there that it is busier than a Westfield Shopping Mall!!! That ruins the recreational experience for me - but, its great for birding and snorkelling!

Onto scenic Port Turton. Postcard perfect.

Brilliant for snorkelling. The last time I was there was during my Undergraduate Marine Biology studies so I’d forgotten just how beautiful it is! Stunning! So is Hardwicke Bay! Seriously you need to go and check these places out for yourself!

Pacific Gull

I had planned to try for Lesser Sand Plover at Thompsons Beach on the way home but the tide was so far out I think I literally could have driven across from Ardrossen to Thompsons beach on the sand! So, there goes that idea - no Sand Plovers for me today…

A relaxing and fun weekend with some great views of some gorgeous birds!