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Prevelly Park Beach Resort, 2008

Crested Tern

A cabin for a night wasn’t cheap and it got more expensive when I discovered I should also hire bedding. Proper campers are supposed to have that already. I refused the extra blanket: ‘I’m from the north. It’s warm down here.’ Not that night it wasn’t.

The cabin was also basic, so I ate fish’n’chips at the camp café and breakfasted there next morning. This left an evening to fill and I explored the neighbourhood beach and scrub. It was surprisingly productive.

Margaret River itself, although it seems to be Scott River by Prevelly, flows into the Indian Ocean and creates a sandbank, where sat a raft of terns and gulls. Crested tern joined Caspian on the trip list and more Pacific gulls also loafed. Out to sea flesh-footed shearwaters glided from crest to crest. They were distant enough that I had to identify them by behaviour: dip one wing, glide, wheel up, dip the other, glide and wheel again. It was mesmerising. A lone osprey loped by and over the assembled multitude.

Spotted Scrubwren

Then I checked the scrub.

I must have been hearing spotted scrubwrens for days and, as the nominate white-browed, they must have been common in the east in 2003. Their buzzing calls are ubiquitous but easily overlooked and they don’t show themselves readily. In Prevelly I managed good views to match the source of the calls and to log lifer number 889.

900 loomed nearer. Would Cape Naturaliste deliver a bonanza the next day for me to race there? Maybe the day after as I explored the less accessible regions of Perth. I was confident that Western Australia would provide.

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