After arriving back at Port Augusta and restocking on the essentials, I decided to head out to Lake Gilles which is about 100km South West of Port Augusta.
This area is one of the most easterly locations for some of the Western Australia species, such as Rufous Treecreeper, Western Yellow Robin and Blue-breasted Fairy Wren.
I made my first stop on the eastern boundry of the park. A couple of juvenile or female Robins dartered about, but I wasn't sure what species they were.
An Inland Thornbill was also nearby, but little else. I kept moving westerly after getting out my GPS and heading to coordinates that someone had posted on birding aus.
This area was much more productive. Currawongs were calling in the distance and a number of fairy wrens were around. Splendid Fairy Wrens are unmistakeable, with there luminescient blue spectrum,
and a group of these birds were found close to the highway. The next group of fairywrens I came across were either Variegated or Blue-breasted... I'm yet to work out what species I've captured in my camera.
From across the other side of the highway, I could hear a treecreeper call. I really wasn't expecting to pick up Rufous Treecreeper, thinking that it might be a difficult species to find, so I was very pleased
to have a family of three that were very approachable. After getting some ok photos, I headed back to try to find the fairywrens again, and see if I could nail down a Blue-breasted ID. It wasn't to be, so I continued
on to the GPS coordinates of a Western Yellow Robin site, since the sun was quickly set. Stopping at this new site, again I was greeted by the calls of Rufous Treecreepers, but still no Western Yellow Robin.
I walked over the other side of the road, and tracked the Rufous Treecreeper calls. Stepping gently as I approached the calls, the high pitched note of quail thrush could be heard...and close!
At my feet were 4 Chestnut Quail Thrush, that had frozen on my approach. The sun was close to the horizon at this stage, so as close as I was to the quail thrush, I couldn't get any descent photos. Just as the onset of defeat was about
to set in, one leapt up onto one of the only branches around me still bathed in light and posed long enough for me to run through some different camera settings and obtain a good photo.
The sun set, and no Western Yellow Robin, but after getting good shots of Rufous Treecreeper and Chestnut Quail Thrush (and possibly Blue-breasted Fairy Wren) I left satisfied. Lake Gilles was definently worth the trip!