Monday, April 23, 2012

Kangaroo Island birding

This weekend started with a night of Owling with my good mate Chris. It was a successful evening with ten Eastern Barn Owl, two Tawny Frogmouth and a Southern Boobook.

Eastern Barn Owl

Southern Boobook

Tawny Frogmouth

I then headed to Kangaroo Island for a couple of nights in order to photograph the Glossy Black-cockatoos.  The KI race of the Glossy, halmaturinus are Australia’s “rarest” cockatoo. These birds feed on the kernels inside the Sheoak seeds and sadly, due to land clearance these birds are now extinct on the mainland. Only a couple of flocks still occur in Kangaroo Island. Thankfully a breeding program is underway in an attempt to save this race. I believe there are about 250 left in the wild.

The weekend was a washout – it rained continuously which made birding for the more elusive birds pretty much useless but I still did a bit of looking around.

Grey Currawong in the rain

Pacific Gull

Immature Pacific Gull

Flinders Chase Conservation Park is definitely worth a look. Seal Bay and Admiral Arch are stunning with great views of Australian Sea-lion and New Zealand Fur Seals.

Australian Sea-lion

New Zealand Fur Seals breed at Admiral Arch

Seal Bay is home to the endangered Australian Sea-lion

Admiral Arch is the breeding ground of NZ Fur Seal

Kangaroo Island is a great place to visit. Just be prepared for the cost of the ferry, especially if you choose to take your car! Be sure to allow enough time as it is bigger than most people expect. It is a great place to view wildlife so ensure you stay a for a minimum of 2 or 3 nights.