After a squiz at Arkaroola, we took a back road up to the Strzelecki
Track and then up to the Montecollina Bore – a popular campsite because
it is free and the prospect of a wash in hot water. We had some
[expletive deleted] smoking and generator-running 4WD types set up
right beside us [because it was the first place to stop], so we shifted
camp to a vacant area beside some motor cyclists [who were quiet as
church mice]. There wasn’t a lot of birdlife around the wetlands, but
there were a couple of red-kneed dotterels there and I got some nice
pixs of a pair of spotted crakes.
From the bore, we went up the Strzelecki [miles of flowers] – Julie got
lucky and flushed a flock of blue-winged parrots when Brian stopped to
look at a plant. We turned right and took the roller-coaster to
Cameron Corner. At our lunch spot partway to the corner, we found a
pair of cinnamon quail thrush – seemed to be in the process of building
a nest – judging by their behaviour and the apparently incomplete nest
we found. There was also a pied honey eater doing its display flights.
Although the Corner Store was located in Qld, it had the most expensive
petrol that we came across [$1.50 per litre] so we decided to refuel in
Tibooburra [where the petrol was 16 cents per litre cheaper].
We spent the night at Fort Grey – got some more pix of a blue bonnet,
flushed a pair of button quail [the second bird flushed just as I
turned around after remembering that where there’s one quail, there’s
generally another], and photographed a galah nest [again three eggs].
Tibooburra is a pleasant town, then we went along the jump-up circuit
on our way to the Warri Warri Gate. It was at the intersection near
the Olive Downs campground that we came across the local practice of
having the one sign doing the job of two [ie covering all four
directions]. Very easy to go the wrong way if you don’t look closely.
We took the [relatively little travelled] Nappa Merrie – Santos Rd to
Innaminka. We camped by a large billabong five clicks before Sullivans
Tank – there was a large [inundated] lignum swamp nearby – I had hopes
of finding and photographing a grey grasswren, but the lignum was
silent. There was a lone tern, the odd white-backed swallow and a
number of white-browed swallows and mulga parrots.
After another great night under the stars [had a 1991 Lindemans St
George with dinner] we proceeded up the road – we came across a nice
flowering dune where Julie chased a spotted harrier and I photographed
a cooperative pied honeyeater. The road between Santos and Orientos
[where it is used by the gasworkers] was very good and then
deteriorated markedly, with a rather slow 90 km over some heavy gibber
plains. The compensation was some very interesting [and large]
casuarinas with peeling bark.
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