27th-29th October 2014
Albany area, Western Australia
I spent a few days slowly working my way along the south coast from Albany to Cape Leeuwin, stopping at several wetland and forested sites on the way.
Red-eared Firetail is a restricted-range endemic found only in coastal areas in the extreme southwest of Australia where it prefers wet habitats containing substantial undergrowth, so heavily vegetated borders to small lakes are an ideal place to look for this sometimes elusive species.
Other birds encountered either around the edges or on the lake itself included Purple Swamphen and Musk Duck.
Male Musk Ducks are bizarre-looking birds with a large dewlap dangling from the base of their bills.
In the cool, damp weather experienced during my time in the southwest, it was not too unusual to come across Tiger Snakes basking in exposed places to try and catch as much heat as possible from the sun in the overcast conditions.
Further along the coast at Cape Leeuwin, an Eastern Osprey sat on the rocks watching the surf come crashing in along the beach. By using the numerous large boulders for cover, I was able to approach quite close to this bird without disturbing it. An hour later, after I'd got all the photos I wanted, it hardly even bothered to look in my direction as I quietly and carefully retraced my route back up to the path.
At the back of one of the campsites I stayed at a large flock of Western Corellas came noisily in to roost just before sunset, giving me a fantastic opportunity to photograph them in the beautiful late evening light.
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