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2008: Peregrine Falcon, Subiaco

Having raced through 150 miles that Thursday, I could have hoped a more leisurely Friday would allow some hardcore birding. I had time to take the boat out to Penguin Island, just off Rockingham, but I was growing expense-conscious. It seemed more cost-effective to check out sites in southern Perth, like Thomsons Lake and Benger Swamp.

Wrong. I couldn’t find them and wound up in Fremantle, which had the nerve to charge for parking. Edinburgh was the last place I’d had to do that. Moving on to North Freo should have allowed some sea-watching but by then it was too late with the sun in the wrong direction. I started thinking about the hotel and headed there via Subiaco – my car’s little home. A stop there provided afternoon tea and Internet access, which I hadn’t had in a few days.

It also provided one more for the trip list. I had parked by the station in a square, surrounded by the tallest buildings in town, and tall buildings plus town pigeons are the magic ingredients for… peregrine falcon, my one and only Australian sighting.

It looked like that was going to be it for the day but I found myself at the hotel early enough to be at a loose end during the evening. There were no city centre distractions, and my car parked out in the lot. It seemed a waste so almost at random I picked on Lightning Swamp as a promising area not too far away and really just drove over to have a stroll.

But it was full of birds.

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