Adelaide and the Mallee

Subject: Adelaide and the Mallee
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 17:12:36 +1000

you ask about sites to visit in the mallee on your way to and from Adelaide. I
cannot give you any current info but offer the following impressions on sites to
The Little Desert is a gem of a place. Follow the signs south from Dimboola to
see the eastern portion along the Wimmera River, spend time in the riverine
woodland [Black-tailed Native hen always possible] and in the low heath [Rufous
Fieldwren, Slender-billed Thornbill, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater etc]. Or, turn
south at Kiata to the main camping area. This is a great place to camp - half
way to Adelaide. From the comfort of my sleeping bag I have watched Malleefowl
feeding in this campground when it is quiet. Visit the mature broombush/Brown
Stringybark woodland in the old Kiata Lowan Sanctuary [Purple-gaped Honeyeaters,
Splendid Fairy-wren etc]. Drive south along the sandy track to the salt lakes,
checking the low heath as well as the eucalypt woodland. You will have no
trouble getting Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, should find White-fronted, Crested
Bellbird, Mallee Ringneck etc

Wyperfeld is a must for mallee parrots - go to the main camping/visitor area
north from Rainbow. Drive to Black Flat and do the nature walk from there. Blue
Bonnets are mostly in the surrounding farmland in roadside trees - watch for
them on the way in to the park. Also spend time in the mallee near Eastern
Lookout for Chestnut Quail-thrush, Southern Scrub-robin, Malleefowl if you are
lucky. The dunes at the start of the Brambruck Walking Track with their tea-tree
dominated tall heath is about the only place one can see Redthroat in Vic., plus
lots of honeyeaters etc when things are flowering. Once you reach the Red Gum
woodland on the floodplain things are a bit dull, unless looking for Regent
Parrot. To see White-browed Treecreeper you need to visit the Callitris woodland
around the northern campground accessed via Patchewollock.

The best place for Mallee Emu-wren and Striated Grasswren is Hattah, - the
western end of Nowingi Track is a good spot. Red-lored Whistler is difficult and
most likely in spring when they call frequently. I have seen them at numerous
sites in the Sunset Country, but you need 4WD and lots of time to get right into
this area. They can also be found around Big Billy Bore on the Murrayville Track
[look for long-unburnt mallee, not heath] which runs from Murrayville south to
Yanac, right through the guts of the Big Desert - by far the best drive in
Victoria for a 2WD [with care].

hope this helps

Peter Menkhorst

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