I spent last Saturday in Lake Gilles Conservation Park in the north-center
of Soouth Australia's Eyre Peninsula region, primarily looking for Rufous
Treecreeper, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, and Western Yellow Robin. The
treecreepers were common, and I saw a few of the fairy-wrens, but alas, no
yellow robins were seen in 12 hours of looking. The weather was fairly hot,
dry, and windy. 31 species were seen including a young Pallid Cuckoo.
I was previously unaware of any other nearby sites for Western Yellow Robin.
I spent Saturday night in Kimba and was headed back to Lake Gilles at 6 AM
Sunday when I saw a sign, "Roora Walking Trail." Why not waste a little
time and see what's there? Up the street I went, and arrived at this
medium-sized patch of scrub at the north end of town. There is a walking
trail that even has certain trees identified, together with brochures
describing the place.
Even though the weather was also hot and windy, Roora Reserve was more
"birdy" than Lake Gilles. After two hours I even located a Western Yellow
Robin, albeit only one bird. There were no Rufous Treecreepers. The only
fairy-wrens I saw seemed to be Variegated as I couldn't make out a trace of
blue on the breasts no matter how hard I tried.
The park brochure delayed my departure significantly. It said that Diamond
Doves were resident, and that spring and summer visitors included Cockatiel,
Rufous Songlark, Red-backed Kingfisher, and White-winged Triller, none of
which are trivial to find in South Australia. Well, I found none of the
above this time, but the place looked promising.
Roora produced 31 species including a good number of Red-capped Robins, a
Masked Woodswallow, and White-fronted Honeyeaters.
The reserve starts about one kilometer north of the town center and motel.
The walking trail is easy and pleasant. There is no need to be concerned
about car breakdowns 20 kilometers off of the paved road. There is now
another nearby location for Western Yellow Robin.
Dick Norton, Adelaide, SA
P.S. There were 20 -25 Cockatiels in Chinaman's Creek Conservation Park,
south of Port Augusta.