Saturday, February 13, 2010

Breakfast at Maidenwell

Our backyard dam as it was before the drought set in.

St Valentine's Day but Fay and I have long since ceased to succumb to the commercial pressures of chocolate/flower/card vendors. Instead, we took each other out for an early [Sunday] morning jaunt around Tarong National Park, ending the session at the old Maidenwell Trading Post which now also doubles up as a cafe with quite stunning views from their al fresco verandah dinning room.

The road [dirt with the exception of one 50m section of tarmac -erosion prevention] more or less circumnavigates the entire National Park. Our usual strategy is to make several stops along the first section of dirt road [from the main junction], recording birds seen and/or heard. We then stop at the first "corner" for a little longer. The process is repeated to the next "corner" - several stops to check out birds spotted flitting across the road or roosting atop roadside trees; a longer stop at the "corner" itself. And again, from this point to JANEVILLE, an isolated farmhouse only a couple kilometers from where the dirt road rejoins the tarmac [the main road]. In effect we stop birding here as thereon in it becomes steadily more "domesticated."

This morning we made only one stop along the initial section [some 50m off the main road] and then raced on to the first "corner". We were forced to make two stops en route to the second "corner" [one producing a new addition to the Year List]. The second "corner", which had proved so fruitful only a month ago, came as something of a disappointment- but then the fig tree on the edge of the vine scrub had ceased fruiting.

To dampen our birding spirits even more, the again usually productive JANEVILLE [good flycatcher country in the past] failed to produce anything more sensational than one Little Lorikeet flying by overhead.

For all that, we added Rainbow Bee-eater and Spangled Drongo to the Year List.

Breakfast at Maidenwell, on the other hand, was up to its expected high standards.

Year List: 146

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