We have just returned from an eight day trip from Adelaide up the Strzelecki
Track to Innamincka, visiting Coongie Lakes and then heading to Tibooburra via
Cameron Corner and home through White Cliffs and Broken Hill. There has been
good rainfall around Innamincka and the country is relatively lush.There were
flocks of budgies first seen at Lyndhurst and then all the time until we were a
good way south of Broken Hill. Zebra Finches were ubiquitous and Fairy Martins
were busy flying in and out of their their bottle-shaped nests in every culvert.
What we didn't see, remarkably, was a single Wedge-tailed Eagle for the whole
first seven days of the trip. There was plenty of road kill, which was well
attended by Kites and Crows but no Wedgies until we were 100kms south of Broken
Hill on the Barrier Highway, when we saw one pair and then a group of five
within the space of a few kms and that was it. Where have all the Eagles gone?
Maybe it's scarcity of rabbits through the drought?
Following is a list of some of the more interesting birds:
Australian Pratincole First one just north of Moomba and from then on
they were numerous on the plains. We counted fifteen in one flock.
Inland Dotterel A pair feeding with the first Pratincoles we
saw . A pair with two chicks on the way to Coongie Lakes.Five on the plains
Eyrean Grasswren One at Art Baker Lookout on the Track and two in
canegrass on top of dunes 15kms west of Cameron Corner.
Thick-billed Grasswren A` group of four about 100m from the old car at Mt
Rufous Fieldwren A pair at Art Baker Lookout on the Strzelecki
Banded Lapwing A pair with a chick at at Dean's Bore on the
Strzelecki Track.Flock of at least ten on the plains between Cameron's Corner
and Tibooburra. A few south of Broken Hill.
Gibberbird Two at 186 kms along the Strzelecki track.
Another three a few kms on.
Cinnamon Quail Thrush A`pair and then a group of four about 220kms up the
Crimson Chat First seen on the Strzelecki and then there
were flocks everywhere in suitable habitat.
Orange Chat First seen at Art Baker Lookout and then they
kept bobbing up, feeding with the Crimsons, though not as numerous.
Letter-winged Kite Two nesting pairs halfway up the Strzelecki
Black Falcon Three in the north eastern section of Sturt NP
Australian Hobby A` pair 196 kms up the Track
Pink-eared Duck Groups of two and three on the small dams on
the road to Tibooburra from Cameron's Corner.
Blue-billed Duck Coongie Lakes
Musk Duck Broken Hill Reservoir
Black-tailed Native Hen Hundreds at South Myers Tank in Sturt NP
Red-backed Kingfisher Sturt NP on Jump Up Loop
Plumed Whistling Duck Flock of at least a thousand on Coopers Creek near
the Burke and Wills Bridge. Flock of a few hundred South Myers Tank Sturt NP.
Diamond Dove The most numerous and widespread of all species
Flock Bronzewing On the plains north of Innamincka in very small
groups, feeding on the ground early morning. Small groups flying over in Sturt
Black-eared Cuckoo One on the Granites Walk at Tibooburra.
Black Honeyeater A`pair on the dunes 10 kms south of Innamincka
Red-browed Pardalote On the Granites Walk
Ground Cuckoo Shrike An adolescent on the Granites Walk
Cockatiel Small flocks north of Innamincka and a
large flock on the dam in Sturt NP. A pair at Mutawinji NP north of Broken Hill.
Spotted Nightjar Five hawking for insects under lights at the
park east end of Tibooburra.
Chirruping Wedgebill Just after the Merty Merty turn-off. One also by
the dam near the White Cliffs cemetery.
Bluebonnet Three sitting on trees near White Cliffs
Bustard Three on the Jump Up drive in Sturt NP
If you are in Tibooburra, which is a fantastic spot for birds, have a drink in
The Family Hotel. The murals by Clifton Pugh shouldn't be missed!
Thanks to all the those who have posted previous reports on this area and
especially John Turner, Peter Waanders and Graham Turner for their valuable
Alana and Greg
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