Some observations from the 4 desert, 3 state, 3 grasswren circuit [pt 1]

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Some observations from the 4 desert, 3 state, 3 grasswren circuit [pt 1]
From: knightl <>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 19:45:11 +1000
[I've chopped this trip report up to ensure it doesn't exceed the BAus post limit]

A couple of weeks ago, a couple of friends [Brian and Julie Moore, and David Faunce] and I packed our trusty subarus and headed west from Brisbane to do a spot of birding, photography and general poking about in the corner country. The three grasswrens and white face that are
noted residents of that part were at the core of my wish list along
with another half dozen outback birds that I hadn’t got round to seeing

After a fairly disciplined blast along the bitumen, we arrived at
Windorah on the second night, and had a bit of a squiz at Cooper Creek before settling down in town [lots of campers on the river – appears to
be a favoured spot].  The Cooper had a good flow, and it was already
clear that we were in for a green trip [Birdsville got 100 mm about 8
weeks ago].

We found a fair bit of water beside the road at various points all
along the way from there to Birdsville, and there was an excellent and aromatic display of wildflowers at the intersection of the Birdsville and Diamantina Dev Rds [over 100 hectares I would guess]. At one plain with an extensive wetland between the dunes we came across a flock of
50 brolgas perambulating about.  It was also a pleasant drive with
excellent lookouts for morning tea [at the catchment boundary for the
Cooper and Eyre Basins] and lunch [before Betoota]. At the latter, we came across the only spinifex pigeons for the trip as well as a flock
of corellas feeding around the cliff face.

Betoota is now abandoned, so is not worth stopping at [unless you like looking at abandoned vehicles]. As was the case for most of the trip, the main roads were in good condition - except where [expletives
deleted] had chopped the road up [shortly after it was graded in some
instances] and could be viewed as 100 km/hr highways. We came across a Corolla towing a small caravan on the Birdsville Track, which should
give you some idea what the track is like in the lead-up to the races
[we had cunningly timed our trip to be outside school holiday time and before the Birdsville races].

Birdsville is a growing town that appears to have had a fair bit of
development over the last couple of years [lots of new buildings,
including a bakery, which does excellent raison bread and saltbush
buns, a restaurant and information centre etc].  After the obligatory
dinner in the pub, we camped in the caravan park beside the Diamantina, where the reed warblers called for most of the night [probably
something to do with the phase of the moon].

[pt 2]

Laurie Knight.
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