|Western Australia's iconic Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)|
Considering I made no plans whatsoever to visit wildlife sanctuaries (apart from Ningaloo Reef) it's amazing what I did see!
On the mammal front I spotted one koala, a couple of possums (in & near Brisbane), and saw kangaroos on only 3 different occasions whilst travelling through 3,500 kms of Western Australia.
To be honest, if one travelled through unprotected "normal" countryside in South Africa you wouldn't see too much in the way of large, 4-legged wildlife either!
But my spotting instincts refused to take a holiday and I excitedly found new and amazing birds everywhere I went. (There were quite a few notable lizards as well!)
In Brisbane, my main focus was bonding with family and I didn't have my big zoom lens at the ready. Which was a pity as I missed getting photos of Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Magpie Geese, Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and a whole host of other interesting birds.
Once in Western Australia, however, I got a bit more serious about wildlife spotting. Just in case I needed to fill in any gaps in those awesome, wide-open landscapes....
|Australian Wood Duck|
Bird sightings predominated, from the relatively lush, emerald, south western woods and wetlands........
at Yanchep National Park.......
through to the crashing rollers, high cliffs and white beaches of the Indian Ocean coast.
|Silver Gulls on the beach at Cervantes|
|Singing Honeyeater, Shark Bay|
|Nankeen Kestrel, Kalbarri cliffs|
|Pied Cormorants at Cape Peron (Shark Bay World Heritage Area)|
Crossing from the scrub and spinifex country of the North West Cape through the Pilbara region on the way to Karijini produced all the open country I could have wished for.
It was a deceptively green landscape. An indicator of it's normally desolate and arid nature was the scarcity of visible animal life, whether livestock or wildlife. But again, there were some birds.........
Out in the open areas the birds of prey dominated...
and in the wooded areas beside the infrequent creeks a few more colourful birds....
|Australian Ringneck Parrot|
|and a flight of Little Corellas|
Every little oasis of an outback town hosted flocks of the noisy and vibrant Galah.
|the gorgeous Galah|
Once back near the coast, in the last days before starting my Ningaloo Escape, I finally got a photo of the Crested Pigeon and a couple of other specials in the shrubs amongst the red dunes and eroded gorges of North West Cape.
Needless to say I saw and heard many, many more birds than listed or pictured here. It was a truly rich birding experience that I really hadn't anticipated!