Strzelecki Desert trip report.

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Strzelecki Desert trip report.
From: Ian May <>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007 11:51:39 +0930
g'Day all

Pat and I recently completed a trip to the Strzelecki Desert, departing
Quorn SA. on 01 July, travelling via Yandama Bore, Tilcha Creek, SE.
corner of Strz. Regional reserve, then to Kaln Bore to Cameron Corner
and then to Thargomindah via Tickalara and Bulloo Downs Station, then to
Innamincka via Coopers Xng, then to Strzelecki Creek (Caroowinnie
Waterhole) returning to civilization via Mulligan Springs on Lake
Callabonna and Hamilton Creek on old Moolawatana (14 July).   North and
east of Wooltana Station the country has responded to recent rains,
birds are abundant, many are breeding and some of the ephemeral swamps
and lakes on the eastern side of the desert are inundated.

Although less rain has fallen than at other past notable periods, the
country is responding well producing excellent birding, as good as any
observed since the wet years of the seventies.  Possibly due to the
absence of significant rabbit populations (Calici virus), ephemeral
vegetation is more dense than for comparable rainfall events but prickly
weeds are more widespread in many areas.

Bird List.   126 species were recorded.  I have added comments to
notable species

Apostle Bird
9 birds seen at Yandama Bore.  We observed one only at Tilcha
Bore approx 50 km. NNE. of Yandama Bore about 25 years ago.

Avocet Red-necked
Small numbers on most inundated lakes and swamps. Nesting on clumps
surrounded by water at many sites some also with chicks up to a week old.

Babbler Chestnut-crowned

Bellbird Crested
Only 2 seen and heard.  Conspicuous by their absence.  Normally
widespread across the acacia plains

Bronze-Cuckoo Horsefield's
Bronzewing Pigeon Common
Large numbers along the Coolabah creeks across the region

Bushlark Horsfield's.
Bulloo Downs and Tickalara

Bustard Australian.
1 at Caroowinnie Waterhole

Buzzard Black-breasted.
Sitting on nest Strzelecki Creek

Chat Crimson.
Large numbers seen across the whole area

Chat Gibber
Chat Orange
Large numbers across Tickalara and Bulloo Downs but numbers not yet present in the Strzelecki Creek.

Coot Australian
Corella Little
Cormorant Large Black
Cormorant Little-Black
Cormorant Little-Pied
Crow Little
Cuckoo-Shrike Black-faced
Up to 100 seen daily on the move north Strz. Ck.

Cuckoo Pallid.
First heard calling on 3rd July north of Yandama Bore Seen and heard
daily across NE. SA. and SW. Qld. since

Darter Common
Dotterel Australian (Inland).
Large numbers mostly single or in pairs across the dune swales of the
NE. Strzelecki Desert.  Nesting

Dotterel Black-fronted
Dotterel Red-kneed
Dove Diamond.
Large numbers in many areas.  Population is increasing compared to
previous times

Duck Black
Duck Freckled
Duck Pink-eared
Many hundreds in some area nesting

Duck White-eyed (Hardhead)
Duck Wood
Eagle Little
Eagle Wedge-tailed
Egret Great
Falcon Black
Falcon Brown
Falcon Little
Finch Zebra
Flycatcher Brown.
Good numbers at Cooper Xng.

Frogmouth Tawny
Grasswren Eyrean.
Seen at several locations across the dune fields.  Easily accessible
family group observed along dune crest next to Strzelecki Track.
S 29 08.003   E 140 05.828

Grebe Hoary-headed
Grebe Little
Gull Silver
Small numbers on many of the inundated lakes NE. Strz. desert south west
of Cameron Corner

Harrier Spotted     Common
Heron White-faced

Heron White-necked
Large numbers spread across NE. Strz. desert and SW. Qld. Many hundreds across area with up to 20 on many inundated swamps

Honeyeater White-fronted
Only one seen at Poontana Creek.  Expected to see many more however,
like Crested Bellbird, conspicuous by absence in such conditions.

Honeyeater Pied
Exceptional nomadic irruption occurring across NE. SA. and SW.
Queensland.  Most days produce hundreds of sightings

Honeyeater Singing (Black-faced)

Honeyeater Spiny-cheeked
Very common along Coolabah Creeks

Honeyeater White-plumed

Ibis Straw-necked
300+ at Caroowinnie

Ibis White
Kestrel Nankeen
Kingfisher Red-backed
Kingfisher Sacred
Kite Fork-tailed (Black)

Kite Letter-winged.
roosting near top of Coolabah 5km north of Strzelecki
crossing (Old Strz. track)

Kite Whistling
Magpie Australian

Martin Fairy
Large numbers breeding under tree trunks of flooded coolabahs

Martin Tree
Miner Yellow-throated
Native Hen Black-tailed
Nightjar Spotted
Owl Barking
Owl Barn
Owl Boobook
Pardalote Red-browed
Parrot Blue-bonnet
Parrot Mallee Ringneck
Parrot Mulga

Parrot Red-rumped
Cooper Creek subspecies common at Tinga Tingana

Pigeon Crested

Pigeon Flock.  7 birds flying fast south towards NSW. in a tight flock
at Ticklara


Plover Banded. (Lapwing)
Unusually large irruption across the NE. Strz. desert and SW
Queensland.  Breeding in most areas some on eggs and some with advanced

Plover Masked (Lapwing)

Pratincole Australian
small numbers NE. Strzelecki Desert mainly around margins of lakes.  Not
usual at this time of year.  Apparently not nesting yet

Quail-Thrush Cinnamon
Widespread and common

Quail Little
Quail Stubble
Robin Red-capped

Songlark Brown
Irruption across dunefields

Songlark Rufous
Irrupting along Coolabah creeks

Sparrow House.
1 male at Yandama Bore seeking hollows at dusk.  Small numbers at Innamincka

Spoonbill Royal
Spoonbill Yellow-billed
Stilt White-headed (Black-winged)
Swallow Welcome
Swallow White-backed
Swan Black

Teal Grey
Hundreds some with recently hatched young at many suitable habitats

Treecreeper Brown

Triller White-winged.
Small numbers across area

Wagtail Willy
Weebill Brown

Whistle-Duck Water.  (Whistling Tree Duck)
Not usual in this area.  9 at Curraweena Waterhole on Stzelecki Creek.
3 at Jackson oil field roadside dam

Whistler Rufous

Whiteface Banded.
In small numbers spread across the dune fields

Whiteface Southern
Woodswallow Black-faced

Woodswallow Masked.
Irruption occurring in Strzelecki desert

Woodswallow White-breasted.
Irruption occurring in Strzelecki desert  Ratio 5:1 with Masked

Woodswallow White-browed
Wren Variegated
Wren White-winged

Thats about all for now.   We intend to revisit some of these areas next
week so will post an update on our return

Regards and good birding

Ian and Pat May

Price SA
Mob.   0428 337 956
Home  (08) 88376212


PO Box 110
St Helens Tas.  (03)63761966

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