Following our visit to Cape Arid (see previous post) he drove back to Esperance then north to the ordinary gold-mining town of Norseman for an overnight stay at the even more ordinary Gateway Caravan Park, where our camper van site overlooked a shed wall and a pile of garbage for some outrageous price. We headed east the next morning for the long drive "Across the Nullabor", including the longest straight stretch of road in Australia (about 150km). I've done this drive previously and can confirm it is a tad tedious at times.
We bush camped at Moonera Tank, 47km west of Madura, but there was very little bird activity in the nice-looking mallee scrub. The following morning we had our first White-fronted Chats near Eucla, where the ruins of the Old Telegraph Station are worth a look.
|Old Telegraph Station ruins, Eucla|
|Nullabor Plain & humble Subaru|
|Hairy-nosed Wombat burrows|
The next morning was better. I flushed my first pair of quail-thrush about 1km up the track that heads north from the crossroads. I flushed a second pair about 2km further on. Then I flushed a single bird from the wombat burrow cluster referred to above. Soon after I flushed another pair from another wombat burrow cluster - this one long abandoned - back down the track about 2km - all up, 7 Nullabor Quail-Thrush. As others have noted, the birds are flighty so no photo opportunity. I also noted the birds were singularly uninterested in playback of the call of Cinnamon Quail-thrush - the Nullabor Quail-thrush was split recently from this species. l also saw several Brown Songlarks that morning.
Leaving the roadhouse, we visited the Head of the Bight - the most easterly point of the limestone cliffs that fringe the Nullabor.
|Head of Bight, Nullabor|
|Southern Right Whale & claf - Head of Bight|