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Regent Parrots, 2008

Regent Parrot

Busselton has a famous mile-long wooden jetty stretching into the shallow Geographe Bay. I had visions of picking off seabirds on my way out to the end. There were slight hurdles: only the first 200 metres were open and the Bay was devoid of any birdlife. In fact I wasn’t to log a single significant sighting that day until Mandurah, despite the coast all the way being rich in lakes, inlets and swamps.

In a sort of desperation I started giving the towns short shrift. Busselton had been lively and then Bunbury felt more like a city than anywhere since Perth. I had targeted one hotel there for the night but on inspection didn’t fancy it. I pressed on along Leschenault Inlet. Two further overnight targets never materialised on its back road before it rejoined Highway One.

I needed to speed on for Mandurah and certain accommodation. This meant missing out the Harvey Estuary and Peel Inlet although I did check Dawesville on the former in case it provided lodgings. It didn’t.

A flock of my 890th life species flew up from the roadside a few miles later. I like birds that are obvious even from a moving car and the golden colours of regent parrots made them a perfect highway sighting. It was a mere formality to check my Morcombe once I’d untangled myself from Mandurah’s one-way system. The parrot is one of three Polytelis species and the only one I would see. I could have hoped for superb parrot on my way through New South Wales but the third of the triumvirate, princess parrot is a real arid speciality. It would be well beyond the range of my wanderings.

Very good. Not so good had been the full signs outside the B&B and motels I had spiralled past. It was a Thursday night. Perhaps the weekend was starting early, which didn’t bode well for the resorts closer in to Perth.

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