Saturday, 12 October 2019

Where the desert meets the sea - a Western Australia roadtrip

It's a long drive north from Perth to Exmouth on the west coast of Australia, nearly 13 hours in fact, and once past Geraldton the landscape becomes relatively flat and the vegetation sparcer. This is where the desert of  central Australia meets the sea. It's a place where you really don't want to break down and where you need to have a full tank of petrol and plenty of water. One of the commonest raptors seen is the wedge-tailed eagle whilst the rarest is the black-bellied buzzard. All kinds of odd flowers grow here and there are termite mounds for as far as the eye can see, but the avian highlight of the trip for me was four Australian bustards right at the side of the road.  A wonderful experience!

To those who love mountains or seascapes this may not look the most beautiful of scenes but it's the scale of the thing which really impresses, this is just huge, it goes on for hundreds and hundreds of miles. An awesome experience!

I recognise this plant, or perhaps something similar. To me it looks like ice-plant which I have seen before on Madiera and which is a desert specialist, but whether or not it's the same species as that on Madiera I cannot say.

Wedge-tailed eagles have been a pretty regular feature of our Western Australia road trip, but near Minilya we came across a flock of 15 eagles in bushes at the side of the road, plus about 10 whistling kites. Also in the same area, a new species for me, chiming wedgebill.

An approaching sandstorm.

An Exmouth traffic jam.

Once past Geraldton we are outside the range of western grey kangaroos and they are replaced by red kangaroos.

Termite mounds.

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