It was a leisurely drive and surprisingly we got towards Dunsborough much faster than I expected, even including refreshment stops en route.
I’d been referred to Vasse Wonnerup Estuary by a birder I met whilst in Yanchep and had considered going once I had gotten settled in Dunsborough. I hadn’t even looked at the place on the map and whilst en route to our destination, saw a sign pointing to a National Park and there estuary itself. Well, what to do? I just HAD to go see what this place was like – it would have been rude not to! The sun was still in the sky, though descending, so i guess we reached the estuary past 3pm or so.
I parked the car and walked out towards the exposed mudflats. That walk took all of about 15 seconds before I was running back to the car to get a tripod and birding camera gear. Haha. My darling set about getting her landscape photography gear set p and I was marching off in search of a raptor I’d seen above the trees, lit by a warm late afternoon sun. I surprised myself in that I soon realised I had been running with my photography gear. Not a winning idea by any stretch, but it seems enthusiasm had been unbridled and caution cast to the wind.
And there it was. I had no idea what type of raptor it was, but suddenly my heart was pounding from more than merely a good 300m run with photography equipment. It was a Whistling Kite set against a virgin sky, around 50 metres away and emerging from behind coastline trees. What a beauty!
I always feel there’s a munificent splendour, nay majesty, that Mother Nature has bestowed upon raptors whilst they are aloft. What entirely fabulous creatures to observe and despite my breathlessness after the exercise of pursuit, I felt little other than sheer wonder as this beauty danced into my viewfinder.
The kite didn’t hang around though and slipped behind the canopy as inadvertently as when it arrived. Oh well. But still a joyous excursion was had by me 🙂 . I decided to continue on my ‘jaunt’ and proceeded to round a point. There were a lot of birds to be seen but they were at a different part of the estuary and too far to got towards, given the dwindling sun.
Nonetheless, an Australian White Ibis seemed unperturbed at my presence, partially, I suspect, because of the viscous mud in which it was navigating. There were a lot of ibis at the estuary but this was the only bird within proximity.
A group of Silver Gulls sped off before I could near them, which is strange as ordinarily gulls are far from skittish. One remained at some distance so I trained the lens accordingly for a single shot before it too, took flight away. I imagine the birds were leaving the estuary in favour of a roosting location elsewhere.
I was able to shoot this bird as the fading sun gently bronzed its’ feathers, before it made a beeline out to the water and doubtless for fishing adventure. This was again quite some distance away as it settled on the water, as I imagine the peak of low tide had been reached and waters were only recently navigating their way back towards shore and mudflat submergence.
A wedge of Black Swans broke the sky briefly, though in this instance I guess 5 of them is insufficient to form that customary wedge shape. SO with that image last formed on my camera sensor, I thought it best to resume the trip to our final destination, whilst light enough to pack away the gear properly.
So off to Dunsborough we went, for further birding and landscape adventures. That’s for the next post…
Happy Days 🙂