Trip Report - atlassing beyond the red stump [part 3]

Subject: Trip Report - atlassing beyond the red stump [part 3]
From: Laurie & Leanne Knight <>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 18:07:44 +1000
Tues 11 Sept.
The rain ceased some time before dawn and it was a pleasant drive west
along the [bitumen surfaced] Diamantina Rd.  There was a fair bit of
water lying about in places, and the first atlassing stop of the way
involved Percy?s Well [~50 km W Windorah].  There were bustards, little
correllas,  and emus in the vicinity, as well as the first of the
white-winged fairy wrens.

The drive out to the Birdsville turnoff was rather attractive,
particularly round the Diamantina watershed [quite a bit of interesting
typography].  The same couldn?t be said for the drive through the
Stanbroke pastoral holdings ? the road through to Palparara was in
fairly good nick, with the main hazard being fairly regular soft
sections.  The section from Palparara to Devenport Downs involved an
extensive soul-stressing "nullarbor" [treeless] section, where the only
birds were richards pipits, magpies and kestrels.  Someone had done a
good job of chopping the road up [ie driving though when wet ? the old
"I?ve got a 4WD so I can get through" mentality].  Interestingly the
road was still a bit spongy [a relative of blacksoil] and somewhat power

I did one atlas sheet on Devanport, on what was probably Edkins Ck [it
was a green break which boasted a singing honeyeater, brown falcon, emu,
grey butcherbird and masked woodswallow in addition to the regulars]. 
There was a bit of heavy roadwork going on near the Diamantina NP
boundary, and the first of the bulldust sections for the trip.

Diamantina NP  23 43 S, 141 00 E [Location Two for those who were
wondering] had its bleak sections ? I saw my first gibberbirds there and
atlassed them in quite a few different spots.  Indeed, in one spot, they
were the only birds in a 2 ha area.  Roadwise, the point of interest in
Diamantina was watching a Shell 3 trailer  road train slowly cruising
past [I wouldn?t be wanting to drive a road train through that country,
particularly with the roadwork and the need to open and shut gates].

The NP HQ are nicely located on a rise [so have a nice view] and now
boast an impressive RAPS [solar/diesel] power system [no chugging donk
to disturb the P&Q] of the outback.

Wednesday morning I drove up to the lookouts to the north of the HQ ?
there was a bit of a jumpup with associated gorges ? nice to have the
opportunity to do a bit of scrambling.   There I saw one of the few
flocks of budgies for the trip as well as the first red browed
pardalotes and red backed kingfishers.  As could be expected, there was
also a resident spotted bowerbird.

I then went for a drive round the 90km nature circuit ? the main points
of interest were the occasional ridgelike sand dunes and a couple of
substantial waterholes and dams.  The latter included wiskered, gull
bulled and caspian terns, greenshanks, BW stilts, R & YB spoonbills, and
ST sandpipers and the usual waterfowl.

The two main camping areas also had a lot of birdlife.  Hunters Gorge,
the more scenic but less attractive camping area had a very long
waterhole, and literally had hundreds of fisheaters ? pelicans,
cormorants, darters, egrets, herons and kites [interesting to watch the
kites hassling an egret that had caught a fish].  As a consequence, it
was rather noisy during the night.  The news on the radio that night was
canvassing only the one subject [as you might expect, given the date]. 
I did go looking for quail thrush in that area, but to no avail.

Gumhole, on the other hand had some more interesting birds ? a large
flock of red tailed black cockatoos, a spotted harrier and some rufous

Thursday ? drove out of the park via the Springvale road.  The atlassing
on the way through to Boulia was a bit monotonous, with the exception
being Elizabeth Springs.  Supposedly, these were mound spings, but I
think the topography had been modified, and so didn?t have the classic
mound spring appearance.  Nevertheless, there were at least 16 species
in the two hectares, including wedgetails, brolgas, corellas, jacky
winters, restless flycatchers and white-winged trillers.

There were also what might have been a pair of oriental plovers beside
the road, but they flew a long way south as I was backing the bird hide
up for a better view.

I stayed in Boulia [site of the red stump ? Qld?s version of the black
stump] long enough to discover that the accommodation options were
rather limited, and spent the night in Dajerra in motel that was a few
stars short of three.  I had a yak to some of the locals about their
local birds [they of course had a different name for everything].  The
main bird species there, as you might expect, was the black kite.
Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Trip Report - atlassing beyond the red stump [part 3], Laurie & Leanne Knight <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU