Day 1: The morning was spent in the dense scrub surrounding Port Lincoln, where we had a number of White-bellied Whipbirds singing around us at close range. Eventually brief views of this recent split were obtained. Other good birds seen included Rock Parrot, Western Yellow Robin and Blue-breasted Fairywren. We then drove along the Eyre Peninsula’s west coast to Ceduna for the night.
Day 2: A very early departure to head to the Nullarbor Plain in search of our first target: Nullarbor Quail-thrush. Having found four birds within half an hour, it was time for a late breakfast! We then headed further west across the plain to an area where the recently split Naretha Bluebonnet occurs. Despite the weather (fierce winds) we managed to get good views of a single bird. A celebratory picnic lunch was had in an abandoned farmhouse, after which we birded our way back to the Nullarbor Roadhouse, our base for the night. We picked up a stray Banded Stilt, a migratory flock of White-winged Trillers and Masked Woodswallows, and a single Little Buttonquail. Just before sunset we got further views of a pair of Nullarbor Quail-thrush.
Day 3: Birding the Nullarbor plain yielded no less than 10 Nullarbor Quail-thrushes, some of which provided excellent photographic views. Another highlight was a flock of at least 15 Inland Dotterels. We then visited the Head of the Bight lookout where 10 Southern Right Whales (including calves) showed well in the beautiful blue ocean just below the cliffs lookout. A picnic lunch was enjoyed at Fowlers Bay, a tiny coastal hamlet surrounded by huge white sand dunes and lagoons with waders including Banded Stilts. On the way to our final destination, Ceduna, we saw some Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos.
Day 4: We were out at sunrise birding the vast mallee scrub wilderness near Ceduna. It didn’t take long to find a pair of the recently split Copperback Quail-thrush. We noticed how their backs are much more rusty-orange than those of their Chestnut counterpart. Other species we found this morning included Western Yellow Robin, Port Lincoln Ringneck, White-fronted Honeyeater and near the coast, Black-faced Cormorants. In the afternoon we visited the amazing, wave-like Pildappa Rock in the Gawler Ranges where Pallid and Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoos were showing well.