Last August, my wife Jill and I, en route from Melbourne to
Diamantina NP, spent four nights at "Bowra", Cunnamulla. We had the best birding
of our trip there and we enjoyed the spacious cottage and the friendly interest
of Ian and Julie McLaren. We enjoyed three special moments there.
As Julie has reported, we saw two grey falcon slowly circling
not far above our car as we were driving to Gumholes. We watched them for about
a minute. Then one morning as we were strolling along the bore drain near the
shearing shed we flushed an immature nankeen night heron. Had it not, when
flushed, flown to the top of a nearby tree and had it not remained there with
its bill horizontal and had I not consulted Pizzey & Knight, I would have
claimed an Australian Bittern. And while driving along a bush track, we saw next
to the track a small spherical tree swarming with about fifty white-
browed woodswallows in a feeding frenzy. The birds all looked newly
The Nature drive at Windorah was good value with lots of
birds. We saw the Halls Babblers. In the 180k drive from the turnoff from the
Windorah - Bedourie road to the Diamantina NP Ranger Station I cannot recall
seeing more than one raptor. No letter- winged kites. However there were many
parties of brolga and hundred upon hundred of
We camped at Hunter Gorge, by the lake. Birdwatching is
constrained by the need to conserve fuel and the lack of tracks to drive on.
Each evening towards dusk a stream of nankeen night herons flew down the length
of the lake. One evening there were over 130.
Finally, a brief stop at Cowan Ponds brought home the reach of
the internet. The visitor's book had names from all over Australia, most entries
saying "well done". No we didn't see the pintail.