Friday, July 10, 2015

Eyre Peninsula Birding and Shark Diving

After an almost 6 month break from birding I have finally managed to get out onto a short roadtrip. With limited time I decided to head west to the Eyre Peninsula where I could spend more time birding and less time driving.

With no specific targets I decided to concentrate my time around Port Lincoln and Whyalla and see what I could find.

While birding around Port Lincoln I concentrated on Lincoln National Park. There are some very nice birds there including the elusive Western Whipbird. I heard plenty of them, and got 3 brief views but no photo opportunities.

Rock Parrots fed in the marsh and clearings while New Holland, Purple-gaped and Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters were seen feeding in the canopy.

Rock Parrot














Purple-gaped Honeyeater

Purple-gaped Honeyeater

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater
Purple-gaped Honeyeater

While staying in Port Lincoln I decided to also take the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I went diving with Great White Sharks! It was a long day, leaving at 6.15am and getting back into Port about 6.30pm! It takes three and a half hours to get out to Neptune Island where the boat anchors and the cage is lowered into the water.  An hour in the cage provided excellent views of 6 Great White Sharks.
Great White Shark


Time to get in with them!



I was pleased to get 2 in one photo!


AWESOME!!! Great White Shark!

Then a hot shower on board, before a good feed and more viewing of the sharks while on board. I noticed a White-bellied Sea-eagle fly out to the boat looking for a feed before we commenced the long journey back to land. A great day out!


I then headed to Whyalla where I concentrated on areas of  old growth mallee and saltbush. I was lucky to get good views of Western Grasswren on most days.













Blue Bonnets were feeding in the saltbush along with Mulga Parrots.
Blue Bonnet


Female Mulga Parrot

Redthroats were plentiful, along with Blue-breasted Fairywren, Southern Whiteface along with a variety of Honeyeaters including Spiny-cheeked, Singing and White-eared. Crested Bellbirds could be heard calling throughout each morning.
Australian Raven



White-eared Honeyeater

Crested Bellbird

Female Crested Bellbird