From Norseman we turned East. We had done a trip along the south coast of Australia a few years back and we wanted to spend the last few weeks of our trip on the Birdsville Track and back on the east coast, so we decided to not spend too much time stopping across the Nullarbor with the exception of visiting the Eyre Bird Observatory as we had missed this on our last trip.
The Observatory is operated by Birdlife Australia and conducts regular surveys of the surrounding birdlife. It is housed in a 120 year old restored telegraph repeater station which has also has 3 rooms for guests. It is staffed by volunteer hosts who also provide 3 meals a day, making for an enjoyable relaxing stay.
The slow drive in took even longer as we had to stop to look at wild flowers along the way
Several interesting bones and skeletons have been washed up over the years including a turtle which must have been washed thousands of km beyond its normal range by a particularly strong Leeuwin current.
Out on one of the walks: a monument to Edward Eyre and his four companions: Baxter, an Irishman and 3 young aboriginals Wylie, Joey and Yarry. In the end only Eyre and Wylie completed the journey. Baxter was killed – allegedly by Joey and Yarry, who fled the camp taking two shotguns.
A distant view of the Eyre Bird Observatory nestled behind the dunes where Eyre found water on his 1841 expedition; one of the many old telegraph poles with rusty wire still hanging. Today the Eyre Bird Observatory is served by the NBN. Unfortunately the 150 year old telegraph line was found to be in poor condition and not suitable for even a fibre-to-the-node service, so they have had to fall back to a satellite service. However this is still better than the cutting edge wheatstone duplex morse system that was enjoyed by the original staff at this building.
And of course what would a bird observatory be without birds. There were heaps including 4 new species for my list: Chestnut backed quail thrush (too fast for a photo unfortunately); brown headed honeyeater; western yellow robin and blue breasted fairy-wren.
Other birds included (from top to bottom) hundreds of singing honeyeater and new holland honeyeater; brush bronzewing; fantailed cuckoo; inland thornbill; white-browed scrubwren; dusky woodswallow; and unidentified fledgling; white-eared honeyeater; and the spectacular Major Mitchell’s cockatoo.
Other fauna and flora at the Eyre bird observatory including a fruiting quandong tree just outside the observatory.