Autumn has arrived in the SA Riverland, with cooler days and lots of bird
activity. Yesterday and today our gardens and surrounds were abuzz with
white-plumed, singing and brown headed honeyeater, grey shrike thrush,
rufous whistler, restless flycatcher, variegated wren, yellow-rumped and
brown thornbill, weebill, silvereye, varied sittella, apostlebird and
After an overcast morning the sun came through and I spent a few hours at
Pooginook Reserve, just 15 mins NE of the Waikerie ferry. This is a large
rectangular shaped mallee reserve surrounded by farmland and second growth
mallee used for grazing. It was disappointing to see one farmer had cleared
10s of hectares of good regrowth mallee directly adjacent the reserve.
I hadn't been to this reserve for almost a year and the numerous signs
indicating intensive fox baiting were promising, as malleefowl counts have
failed to turn up any active mounds for 2 years now. On the other hand, the
re-introduced southern hairy-nosed wombat colony seemed to have doubled in
size judging by the number of active holes.
It was sunny and breezy, temp mid 20s, and lots of birds around. Highlights
were 3 striated grasswrens, one of which was very agitated at a lizard that
looked like a miniature bearded dragon. Also good were 3 white-backed
swallows. A group of miners disappeared before I could positively ID them -
I've seen black-eareds here before.
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