Long Weekend at Moorinya NP

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Subject: Long Weekend at Moorinya NP
From: "Jo Wieneke" <>
Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 11:24:34 +1000
The Birds Australia NQ Group held a campout at Moorinya National Park for
the May Day long weekend. This park, established about 6 years ago is south
west of Charters Towers on the road between Torrens Creek and Aramac -
about 6 hours drive from Townsville allowing for a few birding stops en
route. Highlights on the way were a Black-breasted Buzzard near Burra Range
lookout and a good variety of waterbirds including Pink-eared Duck on the
swamp at Pentland. This is a good little spot one block north of the main
road in the town and is always worth checking.

Moorinya was once a sheep property that changed to cattle when wool prices
slumped. The shearing shed is being restored and the shearers quarters
nearby were made available for our group. Coming from the coast, even though
Townsville does attract some inland species,  we enjoyed
seeing dry country birds such as Emus, Grey-headed, Singing and Striped
Honeyeaters, Cockatiels, Budgerigars, Crested Bellbirds, Jacky Winters,
Hooded Robins and Spotted Bowerbirds. We atlassed 8 sites in various
vegetation types and went spotlighting at night. 86 species were recorded

Some of the group came back to Charters Towers via Lake Buchanan. This huge
salt lake was unfortunately dry with just a distant mirage, and there were
very few birds. A swamp near Mirtna Station further along had several flocks
of Plum-headed Finches as well as waterbirds.

Moorinya is open to the public but the rangers  Dean and Kim suggest you
ring first. As yet there is no camping area and the quarters where we stayed
are only for use by groups such as ourselves and JCU who have regular field
trips there. The roads on the property and across to Lake Buchanan are only
suitable for 4WD

If anyone wants the full list of birds seen there I'd be happy to send it to

Jo Wieneke
North Qld.

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