I've been on many birdwatching tours, but this one easily counts as the most impressive. Host Greg Smith proved kind, hospitable and he 'knew his stuff,' but unlike many who do he didn't drown us in a deluge of facts. There were only a handful of others joining me and my partner on the tour: Birders from which I could pick up a thing or two. When Greg asked us what birds we would like to spot, these birders, better prepared than myself for that question, asked to try for the Yellow Chat. I am very much into parrots and must admit I had not heard of this apparently quite elusive little bird, but soon found myself caught up in their enthousiasm. So we set out on this 'quest,' amidst a beautiful environment of the bluest water, multi-coloured rocks. On the way we saw Red-winged Parrots, White-bellied Sea Eagles complete with nest and chick, Jacana, Freshies, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Australian Pelicans, Magpie Geese and much more.
The comfortable boat landed at a small grassy, treeless island. After a twenty-minute walk we spotted quite a few of the small critters (I counted two females, a juvenile male, and three saffron-coloured adult males). These Yellow Chats proved curious, quite 'approachable' and even a little vain - seemingly posing for our cameras. The birds perched at such a distance that the results of my own Sonyhx400v with a 50 zoom were not really behind those of the awe-inspiring guns of the birders. On the way back we were treated to a quartet of Short-eared Rock Wallabys (sorry, quintet - I forgot a pouched joey). They too came quite close, and it was a treat to see them just outside their rocky homes. The six-hour trip was over before we knew it.
A truly recommendable experience, though I think it is more suitable for serious birders than families with young children, although Greg Smith would probably conjur up something nice for them as well - should they show up at 5.30. So if you are visiting The Kimberley/Kununurra and into birds/wildlife, whatever you do, don't miss out on this trip.
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