Trip Report

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Trip Report
From: "Reg Oakley" <>
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2000 21:48:22 +1000
Last August, my wife Jill and I, en route from Melbourne to Diamantina NP, spent four nights at "Bowra", Cunnamulla. We had the best birding of our trip there and we enjoyed the spacious cottage and the friendly interest of Ian and Julie McLaren. We enjoyed three special moments there.
As Julie has reported, we saw two grey falcon slowly circling not far above our car as we were driving to Gumholes. We watched them for about a minute. Then one morning as we were strolling along the bore drain near the shearing shed we flushed an immature nankeen night heron. Had it not, when flushed, flown to the top of a nearby tree and had it not remained there with its bill horizontal and had I not consulted Pizzey & Knight, I would have claimed an Australian Bittern. And while driving along a bush track, we saw next to the track a small spherical tree swarming with about fifty white- browed  woodswallows in a feeding frenzy. The birds all looked newly minted.
The Nature drive at Windorah was good value with lots of birds. We saw the Halls Babblers. In the 180k drive from the turnoff from the Windorah - Bedourie road to the Diamantina NP Ranger Station I cannot recall seeing more than one raptor. No letter- winged kites. However there were many parties of brolga and hundred upon hundred of pratincoles.
We camped at Hunter Gorge, by the lake. Birdwatching is constrained by the need to conserve fuel and the lack of tracks to drive on. Each evening towards dusk a stream of nankeen night herons flew down the length of the lake. One evening there were over 130.
Finally, a brief stop at Cowan Ponds brought home the reach of the internet. The visitor's book had names from all over Australia, most entries saying "well done". No we didn't see the pintail.
Reg Oakley
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