Well, I'd be Lion if I said I didn't enjoy the outcome of yesterday's
history making tete a tete at the MCG.
Congratulations to Paul Walbridge who correctly identified location 1,
even without knowing about the resident rock wallabies.
Here is the first of the trip descriptions ...
Saturday [Sept 8] arrived, and with the trusty old sub loaded up with a
couple of jerry cans of extra fuel and associated water bottles, it was
time to head west, stopping for breakfast with some friends in
Toowoomba. From there it was pretty much constant driving out through
some consistent rain [eg 12 mm at Mitchell] to the start of the channel
There was time for one birding stop ? I popped down to Tregole NP [south
of Morwell]. This is a quiet park [probably reserved for its
vegetation] with a 2-3km circuit track [about the right length for
giving the old shank pony a quick work out]. Birdwise it was pretty
quiet for the first km, with the first hotspot being a bit of a
ridgeline at the far edge of the circuit ? there were splendid fairy
wrens, speckled warblers, inland, chestnut rumped and yellow rumped
thornbills, red capped robins and jacky winters all hopping about, with
a few white browed treecreepers further around track.
There was a fair bit of road work on the way to Charleville, so I had
time to do a couple of incidentals ? a bustard and a gaggle of juvenile
emus within 10 km of each other [made a nice change to hearing Adelaide
being flogged by Carlton].
Sunday dawned nice and clear for some intensive atlassing of the Adavale
Road ? I covered five 2ha sites on the ~120km to Mariala NP. Four of
the sites "happened" to have emus and most had white browed
treecreepers, rufous whistlers and crested bellbirds [ye olde
panpanpalalla]. One site had a waterbody with a few pink eared ducks,
grey teal, red kneed and black fronted dotterels.
The highlight of Mariala NP 26 00 S 145 00 E [location one for those of
you who were wondering] was the "bottle tree" lookout ? complete with
yellow footed rock wallabies. The views weren?t up to the standard of
the jump-up between Jundah & Stonehenge or the jump-up on the way into
the Eyre Bird Observatory, but any view in the Channel country is worth
a look at. There was also a resident spotted bowerbird and a family of
halls babblers [they do have a rather different call to their grey
crowned cousins ? more like a youngster?s squeezy toy]. I also managed
to track down a couple of red throats by latching on to their partial
mimicry [first half of call the trill of a willie wagtail]. Other spots
in the park included hooded and red capped plovers.
Monday I continued atlassing along the way to Adavale, and had the
pleasure of atlassing 3 species of babbler in the one day [the chestnut
crowned was out Cooper Ck way]. I atlassed a couple of mallee
ringnecks on the way to Adavale and group of choughs at Adavale [about
the only ones seen on the trip]. Spiny cheeked and singing honeyeaters
were pretty common throughout the area.
I had originally intended to take a road which some maps marked heading
west from Adavale towards Windorah, but I heard that someone had almost
wrecked their car driving along it and then noticed that an RACQ map
marked it as no longer being maintained. So it was a case of taking the
long way via Quilpie.
The character of the country changed on the way down to Quilpie [far
fewer birds], with one of the few interesting spots being a crimson chat
near a dam not far from Quilpie. Quilpie was rather dry and the bitumen
strip to Windorah [with a "passing opportunity" every 50 km] had been
fairly thoroughly atlassed, so I did my atlassing on a couple of side
roads [Trinidad Rd and Tenham Rd]. I saw the chestnut crowned babblers
and bourkes parrots on Tenham Rd [25 37S, 143 01E].
The drive into Windorah across the Cooper was quite pleasant, and I
think it was there I saw the first group of the brolgas for the trip.
Windorah wasn?t a bad little town [had cheaper petrol than Boulia] and
had a good caravan park complete with quality cabins [and as was the
case in a number of these little towns, I was the only person staying
there]. It was quite pleasant listening to the rain fall during the
night, though it did have me wondering what the roads would be like the
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