Some years ago, the kids organised a holiday for Glen and I in South Australia. Part of the deal was a day of birdwatching at Gluepot Reserve, the Birds Australia property about 60km north of Waikerie. I think the girls got the idea from reading one of my bird magazines.
I was aware of Gluepot and had been following reports of its progress, bird sightings, etc, for some time. We drove around some of the tracks that day, visited a hide but we didn't see a lot of birds. The others in the car were not as bird focused as me, so they were being very polite and allowing me to indulge my passion.
On the way out that day, a pair of multi-coloured parrots took off from the side of the track and flashed their brilliant blue underwings as they wheeled off into the scrub. I wasn't game to ask Nick to stop so I could follow. It'd been a long day - for the others.
The image of those birds were burned clearly on my brain and a quick look in the field guide as we continued to bounce along the track on our way home, suggested that they were Mulga Parrots. I think that is the exact moment I began to plan my return visit.
Last fortnight I did just that.
Birds Australia were conducting a photography course at Gluepot in April and that was the perfect opportunity to get back there. I picked the dates to suit and enrolled. I took some time off from the golf course and on Tuesday 13th April I headed north west with the ute loaded with camping gear, food, camera and field guide. I think that others using the highway that day were wondering, "Why is that driver smiling so widely?"