2008: Black-Faced Woodswallows, Wandering

Black-Faced Woodswallow

I turned off the Albany Highway to Wandering. Seriously. There is such a place. The agribusiness continued and birds were scarce with the most obvious exception being woodswallows perched by, or flying close to, the road. Even at my elevated speed I got enough on them to be sure that they were black-faced. They were too pale for dusky and not black faced enough for masked, if that makes any sense.

Unlike my Morcombe, the IOC has the woodswallows after the butcherbirds and currawongs in the Artamidae family; and the whole family before the cuckoo-shrikes. To put all these species in a northern hemisphere context, they appear before our true shrikes but not before the antipodean trillers, sitellas, whistlers and shrike-thrushes have intervened.

This didn’t bother me at the time. The black-faced woodswallows gave me another lifer.

I headed into Dryandra State Forest, where Barna Mia is a campsite. An absurd notion began to form of stopping there for the night. It had potential for birds.

But no potential for beds. From the entrance seemed a dirt-track drive into the site and no evidence of its being open. I was only about fifteen miles from Narrogin by then and making better time than I had anticipated. I pressed on and hoped.

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