The benefits of birding
Some weeks can be very hard and the last week was one of them. Thank goodness we can appreciate the natural environment around us and take some solace in it. My husband, Grant, sadly lost his mother on May 29th and although she died peacefully in Aged Care it has all been rather overwhelming. We travelled over 2700kms south of Broome to Albany in the south-west of Western Australia to attend the funeral last Friday. Thankfully we could fly to Perth and then travel the last 400kms by car. We took last Saturday to ourselves and travelled east another 175kms to visit his father’s grave in a small farming township called Jerramungup, where he had been laid to rest in 1972.
It was then over to nature to throw something good in our direction and we were impressed-despite the freezing temperatures! We pulled over near the Pallinup River and the Hakea Laurina were in full flower.
We briefly saw a Scarlet Robin and then we were suddenly surrounded by Splendid Fairy-wrens.
A stand-off by a Splendid Fairy-wren!
We sat for a while in contemplation and then headed back west towards Albany, but it was not even ten minutes later and we just had to stop-turn around and observe one of the rarest birds in the South-west. Although a Malleefowl is a large long-legged ground bird (60cm) it is very rarely seen. It builds a mound to incubate it’s eggs and this can be up to 4 metres across and 75cms high. This was only the third bird we have seen in the last 20 years! We do not care why it chose to feed on the edge of the main highway that day, but we are so grateful that it did! We sat in the car at the side of the highway until it eventually wandered off into the bush.
We then headed back into Albany in the late afternoon near Lower King and this beautiful Australian Pelican came over to see us.
The jetty into Oyster Harbour was busy with Pied Oystercatchers as the tide was in and they were sitting peacefully with other Australian Pelicans, Silver Gulls and Crested Terns.
Pied Oystercatchers resting on the jetty
We travelled back to Perth on Sunday and used the alternative route via Wagin for some variety in the 400kms. Wagin’s claim to fame is a statue of a giant ram-yes, it’s farming country! It was only 6c and I had to get out of the car to get this photo….brrrrrrr!!! It looks cold and crisp because it was!
We are safely back in Broome in the warm and are more than grateful for what nature threw at us during an emotional week……………………