Spring At Gluepot 1

To: "Birding Australia" <>
Subject: Spring At Gluepot 1
From: "Chris Coleborn" <>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 17:07:44 +1000
G'day to all,
From the 20th to the 28th September I camped in and explored Gluepot, just north of where the Murray enters from VIC into SA. This was my first trip to the reserve, and it was everything and more than what I had heard and expected. No doubt delightful Spring weather added its own charm as did the arrival of various inland species of birds. As many would know, this and adjoining areas contain one of the largest old Mallee woodlands in Australia. I have been in quite a few areas of Mallee, but none was so beautiful as Gluepot. It was an idyllic trip and time, with generally warm golden days and cool starry nights. The area was simply alive with birds. Not only diversity of species, but numbers of species.
The woodlands rang with the calls of White-wing Trillers, White-browed, Dusky and Masked Woodswallows, White-fronted, Pied and Black Honeyeaters, as well as the more common Yellow-plumed and White-eared Honeyeaters. Budgerigars, Cockatiels and of course Galahs and the resident Australian Ravens and Little Crows,Yellow-rumped form of the Spotted Pardalote and the Black Mallee form of the Grey Currawong, Mulga Parrots, Purple-crowned Lorikeets, Blue Bonnets and Ringnecks added not only to the song of the bushland, but colour as well. I have never seen so many Black-eared Cuckoos, Chestnut-rumped Thornbills and Chestnut Quail-thrush, and while they were not so common as in other places, Shy Heathwrens and Southern Robins were calling and making timid appearances.
In open areas Crimson and Orange Chats were putting in an appearance with their White-fronted cousins. The Painted Honeyeaters, at least six, were still on the reserve, excitedly calling and flying among the flowering Mallee with the Woodswallows, and other birds. It was busier than Bourke Street at peak hour, with all the comings and goings of the birds at mid morning. It was good to see flocks of Blue-winged Parrots, and for the first time Little Corellas were recorded on the reserve, as were Banded Stilts. Striated Grasswrens were elusive, but regularly put in an appearance, as did the Malleefowl.
Several straight Black-eared Miners were also seen, though most of the nearby resident flocks of miners showed evidence of hybridization with the Yellow-throated Miners. As many would know a project underway, led by  Rohan Clarke, is seeking to relocate the more obviously Yellow-throated Miners to other areas in an effort to assist the more straight Black-eared Miner genepool strengthen. Rohan said that in the area not open to the public on the reserve, there are good straight Black-eared Miner colonies.
There were also unexpected glimpses of birds such as Spotted Harriers, and one couple Steve King and his wife saw a pair of Scarlet-chested Parrots. This was the one bird I was after for my life list, but I was not meant to see it this trip. Just before my arrival an Australian Pratincole had been sighted also. There were good numbers of White-browed Treecreepers, and there were several sightings of Red-lored Whistlers. I was pleased to see a pair. Gilbert's Whistlers were everywhere, making the bush simply ring with their glad calls. There was evidence of many birds breeding.
The flora of the area was equally breathtaking - at least to me it was! In the open stands of Mallee and Belah the light on the regularly scattered Blue bush, with its silver blue colours glowing in the golden Spring sunshine, the odd yellow flowering Desert Cassia and Thorny Acacia and various Eromophelia, everlasting white and yellow daisies and weeping silver bushes with delicate lilac flowers made a picture not easily forgotten. Among the flowering scattered herbs and grasses the red soil was coated with a striking dark sepia patina and white, lime and silver lichen. There were many wildflowers - I wish a knowledgeable person in the local flora was there to explain and name the varieties to be seen. The way the trees in many parts grew wide apart, almost in glades, let in the light, giving a magical depth of space and serenity. I was struck with the number and variety of Butterflies as well - the blue and pink-mauve varieties were especially beautiful - again I wished there was someone to explain and name them.
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