Goolwa Barrage (1)…Seals, Kites and Pelicans

18 Feb

Seals, Kites and Pelicans

Australian Pelican

Dear Reader:

As I approach the barrage, which separates the fresh water flowing down the Murray from the salt water of the Coorong, I notice quite a lot of bird activity. Pelicans are flying low in the sky and there are both Ravens and Mudlarks scavenging along the rocky banks.


Mudlark or Murray Magpie


Little Raven

The Goolwa barrage is a ten minute drive from the town of Goolwa around 80 kms south of Adelaide. It is the last of a series of locks and barrages that control the flow of the Murray River along its entire length. They were originally intended to make the river more navigable for the elegant paddle steamers that once plied these waters carrying essential goods. Information about them is provided along the path leading from the car park to the  barrage. 



Walkway to barrage

A row of statuesque Norfolk Pines lines the roadway to the barrage and I scan them for more birds. Sometimes I have seen kestrels and hawks perched in the uppermost branches but today I am surprised by an even larger raptor; a Whistling Kite. It seems that food must be plentiful with so many predatory bird species in the area.


Whistling Kite

Pelican and Long-nosed Fur Seal often called New Zealand Fur Seal

When I reach the barrage, I am greeted by a variety of wildlife around the first section which leads out into the river. There are Great Cormorants on the adjacent bank, a Long-nosed Fur Seal basking in the muddy water closer to the main part of the barrage and a seal and Australian Pelican near one of the old wooden gateways. A nice start to my walk out to view the barrage proper……… be continued in my next post



Additional notes

This is an easy walk and drive which is quite suitable for families and seniors with public toilets, barbecues, parking and other facilities nearby.

Please pass on this blog title and or contact information (URL) to any person or organisation with an interest in taking walks and enjoying wildlife in SA.

Click on these links and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articles as well as locating similar blogs on Feedspot’s top 20 Australian wildlife blogs


3 Responses to “Goolwa Barrage (1)…Seals, Kites and Pelicans”

  1. Ron Johnson February 18, 2023 at 12:55 am #

    Hi Baz,

    Enjoying your site.

    My wife and I stayed in the PS Federal a couple of years ago and loved
    the area, took plenty of pics as well.

    Birds & Seals..

    Apart from birds, my other “thing” is macro photography of insects.

    We’ve had a couple of spiders in the garden the last couple of weeks, an
    Elongated Longtailed St.Andrews Cross Spider and a Garden Orb Weaver.

    Also a Great Egret taken at the Barrage…

    Pics attached if you’d like to have a look.



  2. macmsue February 19, 2023 at 6:21 am #

    We recently went down that way hoping to see a multitude of wildlife due to the high water flowing through the Murray Mouth but were disappointed. Your shots are great especially the raptor.

    • tabbie2012 March 21, 2023 at 9:39 am #

      Thanks a lot
      Sorry you missed out

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