You want sightings? You get sightings. Today I went to Stockyard Plains
Disposal Basin, in the Riverland area of SA, not far from Waikerie and indeed
not that far from Gluepot.
This formerly degraded grazing land has been transformed into a bird
paradise with extensive wetlands, regenerated native vegetation, and bird
watering throughs. The total area is close to 800 ha. The water comes from a
system of bores along the Murray River that intercept saline groundwater and
pump it to Stockyard Plains to evaporate. It is therefore nearly as salty as
seawater, and (not?) surprisingly seagrass grows quite prolific, even though
it's 150 km from the sea as the crow flies.
As the area is closed for the general public it is very undisturbed. For
would-be visitors it's worth contacting SA Water in Berri, they hand out keys to
genuinely interested people. Among others, I found the following species
3,000+ Black Swans
Red rumped Parrot
White-winged Fairy-wren (a brilliant male singing)
Crimson Chat (male + female)
Orange Chat (male + female + fledgling)
Malleefowl, Chestnut Quail-thrush, Freckled Duck and other interesting
species have been recorded here over the past year.
I thought this would be worth mentioning among the heated discussions going
on on our mailing list lately.