RFI: Far West NSW/ North East SA

To: Michael Ramsey <>
Subject: RFI: Far West NSW/ North East SA
From: Ian May <>
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 22:08:44 +0930
Hello Michael

Here is a reply that I prepared recently for some other travellers
making a similar request.  I hope it is of some use to you.

The information provided below relates to the best sites to find the
listed birds on or near your proposed route.  (Birdsville track BT
and Strzelecki track

Grey Falcon is not common but locations of highest probability begin
at the Strzelecki creek crossing, following the old strz. track
north east towards Innamincka.  Waterholes on the Coolibah flood
plains along the creek are generally best although some of the dry
Coolibah areas are also favourable.   The best area is about 3 km
north east along the old Strz. track from the original southern
junction (Note that the road has been re routed to Merty Merty
homestead in recent years.  It now branches off from a point further
north on the Moomba Rd but any old road atlas will show the
approximate location of the original junction).  This is an area
where Grey Falcon's are regularly seen and where they breed
successfully in most years.  The best site is next to the old track
about 15 to 20 km south of Tinga Tingana ruin.   Any of the
waterholes in this area and also Marpoo waterhole and other nearby
locations on the Cooper Creek at Innamincka are good spots.  However
the most reliable spots for Grey Falcons in far northern SA are at
waterholes along the Stevenson River north of Oodnadatta and often
at Purnie bore in the Simpson Desert.

Letter-winged Kite is not regularly found until you get north of
Birdsville however along the section of the ST north of Montecollina
Bore to the Strz. crossing you will see sparse stands of isolated
Coolibah's not far from the road.   When LWK are in the area they
often roost and occasionally nest at these sites.

Grey Grasswrens can be found on Goyders Lagoon.  Amongst the lignum
near Koonchera waterhole is the best spot.

Eyrean Grasswrens are found at any of the largest canegrass covered
sanddunes north of Cooper Ck on BT and north of strz crossing on the
ST.  Also further south to Yandama Creek in the Strzelecki Desert
but less common.  Look for large drift dunes and search the
canegrass near the drifts during the first and last two hours of
daylight best in warm calm conditions. They have a distinctive alarm
call, almost metallic, high-pitched double note that gives away
there presence.  The Koonchera Sandune at Koonchera waterhole,
adjacent to the Grey Grasswren site is a good spot.  Here it is
possible to see both species at the same time.  Eyrean on the dunes
and Greys in the floodplain.  Other good spots for Eyrean Grasswrens
are at Mungeranie on BT and Merty Merty on ST and also around
Coongie Lake at Innamincka.

Yellow Chats near the bore head of Pandeburra Bore is the only
regular spot known in northern SA.  If you spend enough time there
you will usually see some within 1/2 km of the bore head.   Watch
out for Grass Owls at dusk near the Cumbungi reed beds too.  Mira
Mitta bore is worthwhile for Grass Owls too.

Flock Pigeons are frequently seen at Pandeburra Bore.   But early in
the morning or later in the day at any surface water in gibber
country north of Mira Mitta on the BT are likely spots when they
come into drink  Wirrapirrie Bore on the east side of BT on Pandie
station is also good spot to see them when they are about.

Permission and permits are required to visit some of these sites
discussed above.

Gibberbirds can be found anywhere on Mitchell grass/gibber plains
around Clifton Hills, west of Birdsville on the Big Red rd, and
Dulkaninna on BT Track.   And from  Murnpeowie to Montecollina on
the ST.   On the eastern side of the Flinders Ra. on the road to
Moolawatana and Mt Hopeless, north of  Paralana Creek to Mt
Hopeless, particularly around North Mulga Outstation is excellent.
Anywhere on gibber/ Mitchell grass plains, Gibberbirds are
reasonably common.  Cinnamon Quail Thrush frequent flood
depressions, dry watercourses and shrub covered sandy ground in the
same areas.

If you need any other specific info give me a ring on (08) 8380 9553
or on mobile 0409 474 575.  All the best on your trip and good


Ian May

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