Lake Eyre trip

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Subject: Lake Eyre trip
From: "Jill Dark" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 14:58:32 +1000
Hi All,
Just a quick report on our recent trip to Innamincka, Strzelecki Track, Lake Eyre and Sturt N.P. Time constraints, and a vehicle breakdown (we were towed 137km to Innamincka - but that is another story) meant that we did not have time to explore all the bird sites I would have liked, but we enjoyed our trip in spite of this.
The country was looking good, especially in the sand dunes along the Bollard's Lagoon Road and it was quite a sight to see water in Lake Pinnaroo (Sturt NP).
Lake Eyre did have water in it, and the water was only about 1km out so quite easy to get to.  It is drying up fast, though. We went via Muloorina Station and camped there.. It was very windy so not ideal for birding but the reed warblers never stopped singing and the white-browed babblers checked our camp out thoroughly.
The only bird seen at the edge of Lake Eyre was a red-capped plover, but there were many white-backed swallows gliding over the dunes and white-winged fairy-wrens, "blue" ones, in every bush, it seemed.
Many birds seemed to be in greater numbers than on previous trips.  Rufous songlarks were in full voice everywhere.  Brown songlarks were there too, but  not seen or heard as often.
Crimson and orange chats were commonly seen in every patch of saltbush from south of Marree to Sturt.
Budgerigars were everywhere, especially along Cooper Creek, where they seemed to be in every hole in every Coolibah, except for the large holes which contained galahs or little corellas.
We also saw more White-winged trillers than I have ever seen before.
Other interesting sightings included:
  Inland dotterels in the Cobblers Desert (Strzelecki Track).
  The black falcon mentioned in a previous posting.
  A pair of Australian spotted crakes feeding a tiny, black chick at Monte Collina Bore, on the Strzelecki.
  Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoos mating at Yaninguru waterhole. I felt rather sorry for the variegated wrens, the only very small birds I had seen there.  Yaninguru is an excellent place to camp too. It is just south of the Strzelecki Crossing.
  Black honeyeaters at Fort Grey.
  Banded Lapwing - a pair with 4 juveniles on the gibber plains near Mt Wood at Sturt.
  Golden whistler (immature) at Milparinka seemed to be outside its normal range.
Overall we saw about 150 species, but as we missed out on the whitefaces, and the letter-winged kite we will just have to go again, sometime.
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