The Safari had a day off today and decided to do a bit of twitching. We hoped to have a comrade at arms but unfortunately he couldn't make out so we headed out on our own. An hour up the motorway we went to a site we've not been to for about 20 years even though it's turned up some real gems in that time and is really easy to get to. Can't explain our logic on that one!
It's a very attractive site but sits underthe looming bulk of two nuclear reactors, but don't let that put you off today there was a real sense of serenity about the place. As soon as we got out of the Land Rover we saw a large number (20+) of Greenfinches hanging around the Rose hips by the entrance gate.
We walked past the industrial areas onto the walkway between the site and the sea to look over the outfalls where the cooling water shoots out.
Somewhere in there there might be Bonaparte's Gull. If there was three and a half hours solid gulling and we couldn't find it with help in the last hour form several other birders who had come to watch the tide rise in the hope that the reduced area of mud would make the bird easier to find.
It wasn't! We did find several Mediterranean Gulls of all ages from juveniles to adults. At least three juveniles and an unknown number of the others because they kept moving round as the tide pushed them up the beach so we kept seeing the same birds in different locations. A Little Gull was also found by one of the other birders. There are four species of gulls on the rail in the pic above, that's one more than the whole of Australia! Six species were found, twice the number of to be found in Aus, if only the Bonaparte's had put in an appearance.
All around us there were butterflies on the move. Luck we've downloaded the free app on our phone. The number we submitted was 60 in the 15 minutes allowed.
Couldn't help but take a few pics of them
With a couple of our friends we'd met at the gull watch we had a look at the pond which was gin clear. We watched a female Common Blue Damselfly disengage from 'tandem' and crawl down the stem of a piece of waterweed to lay her eggs.
Bonneys that we couldn't although we might have picked up two or three more year birds.
Where to next? We've got the Young Uns doing so voluntary work tomorrow - they usually find something of note while they've got their heads down in the vegetation.
In the meantime let us know who's been dipping what in your outback