Firstly, a big thanks to the many people who offered their Mallee
Emu-Wren site suggestions for our trip last week (28/8 - 1/9/2003).
We headed out to Pink Lakes (Murray-Sunset), and camped at Lake Crosbie.
We searched various Spinifex patches for a few hours in the late
afternoon, and for a few hours again the following morning.
Unfortunately, due to a combination of incompetence, strong winds, and
uncooperative MEWs we dipped on them. For an hour or so we chased
squeaking Spinifex clumps, but whatever was squeaking remained out of
We then drove up to Berri, passing a family of Banded Lapwing in a
paddock near Paruna. Dishers Creek (Renmark, SA) was teeming with
Australian Shelduck, Black Swans, Freckled Duck, and many swimming
Red-necked Avocets. We found several Redthroats, a group of
Chestnut-crowned Babblers, and many Blue Bonnets in the surrounding
Cooltong CP (Renmark, SA) was much quieter than my previous visit in
July. It was very windy, and it had rained heavily the night before.
No Striated Grasswrens or Malleefowl this time, although we saw 2
Crested Bellbirds. (Sorry Doug - no luck with the Cuckoos either)
We then headed down to Salt Creek on the Coorong. Still very windy,
with lots of passing showers. Several Rufous bristlebirds running
across the roads, a lone juvenile Hooded Plover, a single Purple-gaped
Honeyeater, and numerous Brush Bronzewings were our highlights.
Heading back to Adelaide, we crossed the Wellington Ferry and headed to
Tolderol Game Reserve. Between passing showers, and still with a fierce
wind, the only highlight here were the many Swamp Harriers which were
hang-gliding along the dikes, allowing very close views from the car.
We escaped to Victor Harbor to avoid sleeping another night in our wet
tent, and ticked off a Black-faced Cormorant near the Bluff, and were
treated to great views from the hotel balcony of a tail-thumping Whale
in Encounter Bay.
So while the weather definitely wasn't at its best, at least we've left
some birds for next time...
Mat and Cathy
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