Tag Archives: wildlife photography

Around Kersbrook

14 Nov

Dear Reader

The road is dusty after a rare dry spell during the Spring months. I catch a quick glimpse of a large kangaroo through the corner of my eye and pull over to the far side of the track and wait for the dust to settle. Next to a farmer’s dam there is a small mob of Western Grey Kangaroos They watch me closely, ears twitching. The big male I first spotted, stands to his full height, protective of his small harem.

Large male Grey Kangaroo

I am driving around the roads surrounding Kersbrook a small hills town about an hour’s drive from the city centre, a continuation of the Main North East Road past Tea Tree Gully and Chain of Ponds Reservoir. Using the GPS maps I have found a network of small roads around the town and I am randomly exploring them.

Small mob of greys

Checking the GPS I note that I am driving along Bagshaw Road. As I walk back to the vehicle I notice an old brick chimney on the other side of the road; the remains of an old farmhouse. Old ruins always fascinate me and I wonder what stories of family, drought, flood and celebration have resonated within the home that once stood there.

Stories to tell

A long way from the highlands of Scotland

On Bulman Road, I come across a small farmhouse. There are Alpacas fenced off near the home and a little further along the road I can see Highland Cattle. Nothing indigenous about these species but they are still a treat to see on the rich green background of spring pasture.

Grey Currawong silhouetted

My next encounters are on Smith Road where I come across two bird species that are not too common around the city and urban landscapes. A Grey Currawong (related to crows and ravens) is perched on a fallen branch.

Red-rumped Parrot and fence

 

There are also a beautiful Red-rumped Parrots feeding behind a fence which ‘try as I might’ I cannot remove from the picture. Then again, this is farming country and fences are part of the landscape. Later on my drive home I spot another two parrots feeding in rough stubble about 50 metres from the car, another tricky shot.

Well camouflaged Red-rumped Parrots

Although today’s trip exploring the backroads around Kersbrook is at an end before returning home I’ll visit ‘Kersbrook Hill Wines and Cider’ followed by a short stop at Williamstown Bakery: a couple of favourite destinations when I drive through the north-eastern region of the Adelaide Hills.

Additional notes

This is an easy drive which is quite suitable for families and seniors

For more pictures and short stories about SA places and wildlife go to:

https://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

 

Commissariat Point’s Beachside Wildlife

25 Oct

Dear Reader:

The boat is high and dry on the turning tide. Time for a stroll along the shoreline. A little exploration of the intertidal zone.

Tide is Out

Commissariat Point is a ten-minute drive south of Port Augusta near the army testing and training grounds. It is a community of shacks, some quite opulent, where a few owners live permanently while others visit or rent on weekends and holidays.

Shacks, scrub and windfarm in the evening light

These upper reaches of the Spencer Gulf are also lined with one of the State’s truly wonderful trees, the Grey Mangrove. Mangroves live between high and low water and have many adaptations to help them survive this challenging environment. They produce aerial roots called pneumatophores which help the plant to breathe in the sticky mud that is common along the shoreline. Their leaves are shiny on one side and secrete salt particles on the other.

Grey Mangroves

Mangrove leaves

There is quite a lot of seaweed around the high tide mark. It has been deposited on the beach during winter storms and is home to a variety of animals. There are worms, crabs, insects and even small lizards in this unusual habitat which retains moisture below the sun-dried outer layers.

Gecko species in seaweed

Just above the high tide mark lies a thin line of vegetation which is tolerant to the windy and salty conditions. I am quite surprised to discover some Flax Lilies growing here. The delicate flowers are attracting a few buzz-pollinating native Blue Bees. The term buzz pollinating refers to their ability to spread pollen through the high frequency beat of their wings.

Blue-banded Bee on Flax Lily

The light is starting to fade and the tide is coming in as my walk draws to an end. A few wading birds are coming closer to the shore with the incoming water and I try my luck at photographing them in the soft light. A nice way to finish my initial exploration of this tiny settlement at the head of Spencer Gulf.

Heron using feet to help scare out fish and other small animals

Cheers

Baz

Additional notes

This is an easy walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors with parking but no other facilities. It is dog friendly.

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 this link and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articles

https://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

Carrickalinga’s Underwater and Coastal Wildlife

7 Sep

Dear Reader:

The drive into Carrickalinga along Forktree Road from Myponga is quite spectacular with sweeping views of the ocean, reservoir and surrounding farmland. On entering the township, it is a short drive north along Gold Coast Drive to the rocky headland which can be easily accessed from the parking zone by a zig-zag series of wooden steps.

 

Driving in to Carrickalinga

Steps at the headland

This area is a sanctuary which means there should be quite a lot of marine life to encounter. I change into my snorkelling gear before walking down to the beach and survey a couple of entry points then photograph one of the many rockpools. The water is cold this time of year and even with a wet suit it takes a few minutes to adjust.

 

Old Wives under a ledge

Red Bait Crab

Visibility is good and I work my way along the shoreline which has numerous ledges and a healthy covering of algae as well as some encrusting invertebrates like sponges and sea squirts. A large Red Bait Crab peers at me from its position amongst some brown algae and there are numerous fish species in the seaweed and under the ledges. Within a few minutes I have seen over a dozen types including: leatherjacket species, Old Wives and Moonlighters.

 

Track along the hillside

Half an hour in the water is enough today. After a quick towelling down and a change of clothes (and camera) I decide to follow the narrow trail cut into the hillside and explore some more of this picturesque coastline.

 

Locust species possibly Plague Locust

Nankeen Kestrel Hovering

The wildlife above the water is not abundant as coastal vegetation does not provide a lot of food for animals. I manage to spot the occasional Singing Honeyeater and I can see a Nankeen Kestrel hovering near the top of the hillside. Quite a few grasshopper-like animals are taking flight from the undergrowth. A close up shot, and an ID book later at home, suggests they are probably Australian Plague Locusts.

 

Rockpools

The morning is almost over and as I walk back I look down on the beach and rockpools and the turquoise colour of the sea. Along the path, I notice some Crested Pigeons on an old fenceline, a murder of Crows in the distance and a lone Willie Wagtail fossicking close to the ground; probably after a locust snack. Which reminds me, it is time to head for the Normanville Bakery for a spot of lunch before I take a closer look at the township of Carrickalinga later in the afternoon.

Cheers

Baz

In a further post (Carrickalinga 2) will cover a walk around the township and along the beach.

Cheers

Baz

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 this link and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articles

https://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

Flinders Ranges Moments

14 Aug

Grazing sheep in the Flinders Ranges

Dear Reader:

Several deep gorges cut through the Flinders Ranges from east to west. They can be comfortably traversed by conventional vehicles in dry weather but in the wet they are hazardous and 4WD is a necessity. In these images I push my vehicle through relatively shallow water after measuring the depth first then attach a tow rope to a vehicle that didn’t quite make it.

A calculated and tested crossing

Didn’t get it quite right

The Flinders Ranges are around 800 million years old and are the result of the uplifting, folding and consequent erosion of an ancient, shallow sea bed. Their sedimentary rocks contain fossils of some of the Earth’s earliest life forms known as the Ediacra fauna. The ranges are the ancestral home of the Adnyamathanha (pronounced ud-ya-mutna) people who have lived there for over 40,000 years.

Layers (strata) of sedimentary rock

Four different kinds of Macropods (kangaroos and wallabies) live in the Flinders ranges: Western Grey Kangaroos, Red Kangaroos, Euros or Common Wallaroos and Yellow-footed Rock-Wallabies. Western Greys live in low forested areas, Reds prefer dry open plains, Euros live in the foothills and the rare Yellow-footed Rock-Wallabies prefer higher rocky slopes. There is some overlap between the habitats of all these species.

Red Kangaroos

Euro, Hill Kangaroo or Wallaroo

Yellow-footed Rock-Wallaby feeding in Brachina Gorge

Birdlife is prolific throughout the ranges and include a wide variety of species ranging from tiny finches and Budgerigars to Wedge-tailed Eagles and Emus. While taking friends from the USA around Wilpena Pound and Brachina Gorge, in the heart of the Flinders, we stopped to photograph birds on numerous occasions.

Getting up close

Nice result

This wild and beautiful region has much to offer in terms of fauna both ancient and modern. However, the plants of this rugged landscape are just as fascinating: Sugar Gums, Cypress-pine, Flinders Wattle, Flax Lilies and the SA state emblem the Sturt’s Desert Pea are just a few examples.

Sturt’s Desert Pea

Although the Flinders Ranges is a truly wild destination it also has a significant human perspective. There are ancient First Nations art sites, a world-renowned hotel featuring local cuisine, working stations (farms) and a significant arts and crafts community. From my own perspective as a photographer, there are the remnants of old settlements such as stockyards, settler ruins, old mine shafts and other relics of the Flinder’s early settlement, all backed by stunning landscapes.

Lunch at the Prairie Hotel

Cheers

Baz

Additional notes

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 this link and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articleshttps://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

Title Kangaroo Island….Day 2 Lesueur Conservation Park

30 Jul

Rosenberg’s Monitor a little upset

Dear Reader:

Grey clouds are shrouding the sky this morning and a cool wind is sweeping in from the sea. I check the weather app and there doesn’t seem to be any rain forecast for the day though the light will be poor.  My Sony RX10 has the larger sensor of my two cameras and seems the obvious choice for today’s jaunt through the nearby Lesueur Conservation Park.

 

Wildlife and Farm life

The unsealed road from the lodge towards Lesueur has been recently graded which makes travelling a little easier and I reach the turn off to the park in a few minutes. There is low scrubby forest to my left and verdant grazing land on the right. To my surprise, a flock of sheep near a small water hole are sharing their territory with Black Swans. A sweep with the telephoto also reveals a few Masked Lapwings and Grey Currawongs in the paddock.

 

Pea flower species

Blue Cockatoo Orchid

I make the signposted turn to Lesueur CP and a little way down the road I notice a cage trap set under a grass tree; I assume it is for feral cats which are a threat to all Australian wildlife from reptiles to birds. Today there are very few animals around which is fairly typical in cool overcast conditions and I decide to fossick around in the scrub adjacent to the road. The first thing I notice is the proliferation of flowering plants including native pea flower species and delicate blue orchids.

 

Grey Fantail and Silvereye

Red-browed Finch

There are small birds high in the trees but they are hard to identify. I come across a deep rut in the road which is partially filled with water. The vehicle scares several small birds away which are using the pool as a bathing area. After driving a several hundred metres down the track I leave the car and approach the ‘bird bath’ stealthily through the scrub. Taking up a position about fifty metres away I wait and within ten minutes they return. Long shots on a cloudy day do not make for award winning images but they do help me identify these small birds as; Silvereyes, Grey Fantails and Red-browed Finches. Meanwhile a large centipede is burrowing through the leaf litter next to the log I am sitting on. Telephoto to macro in a split second supports my use of bridging cameras in some circumstances.

 

Rosenberg’s Monitor (like all monitor lizards it has a forked tongue similar to that of a snake)

Centipede species

The wildflowers, centipede and small bird species have made the excursion into the park interesting and I am sure it is worth another visit on a more amenable day. I leave the park and take another randomly chosen track which takes me away from the coastal fringe. Five minutes along this route I see the flattened shape of a large lizard by the side of the road. I stop and take a closer look hoping it has not been injured or killed by a car. As I approach the goanna/monitor which instantly informs me of my error with a hiss and quick, aggressive lunge. I take a couple of shots and usher the animal away from the road.

 

Creek scene

 

View from the lodge

A little further on, the road passes over a small creek which is picturesque even on a dull day. It then intersects with another road, which my GPS informs me, leads back towards ‘Seadragon Lodge’( see link below for more information) where I started my day’s adventure. By now the clouds have shifted and patches of blue sky are brightening up the day. Time to relax, put a log in the combustion heater and sort through my images while enjoying the view across the gully to the ocean.

Cheers

Baz

Additional notes

Seadragon Lodge……  https://seadragonlodge.com.au/

This is an easy drive which is quite suitable for families and seniors and the lodge is wonderful with magnificent views and abundant wildlife.

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 this link and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articles

https://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

 

Port Elliot to Goolwa…A Wildlife Drive

20 Jul

Scrub and dunes between Coorong National Park and Goolwa Beach

Dear Reader:

A lone Silver Gull is perched on the parking sign next to the Flying Fish Café on Port Elliot’s picturesque Horseshoe Bay. Two hours should be more than enough for a fish and chips lunch while watching a few brave souls taking a dip in the chilly winter waters.

Parking restrictions…seagulls only

Across the bay, a fisherman is unfolding a chair and setting his lines for a leisurely afternoon’s angling. Perhaps he will catch a squid or some Flathead as we enjoy the same species on a plate and without the effort.

Horsehoe Bay’s old Jetty

I am taking a drive along the southernmost part of the SA’s lovely Fleurieu Peninsular between the towns of Port Elliot and Goolwa. This area is well known for fishing, surfing and whale watching in the winter months when Southern Right Whale migrate through these waters from the Southern Ocean.

Goolwa Beach and photographer

My next stop is Goolwa Beach, a long sandy stretch of several kilometres ending at the mouth of the Murray River. If the tides are right, I will be able to take my SUV onto the beach between sand hills and surf; a really rewarding experience. I am in luck and able to drive some distance towards the mouth. There are a few tiny waders dodging the surf while feeding on worms and other invertebrates beneath the wet sand but they quickly fly away as I get close enough for a shot. A pair of Pacific Gulls are more accommodating and I get a good series of images using full extension of the Nikon P900 zoom.

Fun in the surf…Pacific Gull style

About a kilometre along the beach there is a sign indicating a track that crosses the dunes ending up at the Coorong National Park near the Goolwa barrages which separate seawater from freshwater. This area is my next destination and I must drive back along the beach and skirt the town to reach the park.

Beach crossing to the barrages

The part of the Coorong National Park I am exploring is just past the barrages and consists of shallow mud flats, reed beds and small islets; an ideal collection of habitats for a wide range of aquatic birds. There are Black Swans in the distance, an unusual Musk Duck a couple of hundred metres offshore and a White-faced Heron hunting in the grasses and pools next to the road. Meanwhile, Singing Honeyeaters warble in the scrub between the park and the ocean beach which we were driving along just fifteen minutes earlier. However, the most exciting birds in the area are a couple of quite different raptor species which are swooping and hovering close to the shoreline. The larger bird is a Whistling Kite and the smaller, a female Nankeen Kestrel.

Singing Honeyeater not singing

Whistling Kite

Lunch and a couple of lucrative wildlife drives have made the day a success. However, the coastal town of Goolwa has many other attractions and I spend a further relaxing hour pottering around galleries and other small shops. To finish the day, I buy a bun and coffee at the Original  Goolwa Bakery on Dawson Street (established in 1912) before heading home via Strathalbyn and Mount Barker; two more SA towns with much to offer an enthusiastic nature photographer.

Goolwa’s Artworx Gallery

Cheers

Baz

Additional notes

This is an easy 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 this link and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articles

https://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

Mildura to Trentham Estate Winery….part 2…..Around the Winery

18 Jun

Moored at the winery

 

Dear Reader:

We arrived at Trentham Estate Winery around 1.00 pm. After tying up and sprucing up, as we are eating at the winery, we wander ashore to indulge in a little pre-lunch wine tasting. Our meal is served under a large marquis with wonderful views of the river and surrounding countryside.

 

Coffee by the river

 

A sipbefore lunch

 

The Duck Breast in a Hoisin sauce is moist and cooked to perfection and coffee, dessert and good company make the afternoon fly. However, before the light disappears I take a walk upstream to explore the properties and bushland alongside the winery.

 

Peaceful Dove by the water

As I edge along the bank I notice Anhingas, Black Ducks (not the source of lunch) and some unusual doves. I wait behind a large river gum and manage to snag a shot of these smallish, striped birds which turn out to be Peaceful Doves.

 

Grey Butcherbird

 

Laughing Kookaburra

 

Further along the pathway I hear the first few notes of a Kookaburra’s call. The bird is perched on a dead tree branch and the Nikon P900’s telephoto is stretched close to maximum extension. In a thorny bush below the tree, I can just make out the outline of a Grey Butcherbird. Despite waiting for the bird to emerge I settle for an image taken through the branches; not a portrait shot but certainly a realistic one.

 

Yellow Rosella

 

Male and female Red-rumped Parrots

 

Parrots are feeding high in the trees which makes focussing difficult. There seems to be two distinct groups. Scanning the branches, I recognise Yellow Rosellas and Red-rumped Parrots. Both are beautiful birds which I rarely see in SA. 

 

Boatel coming in to dock

The light is beginning to fade and it’s time to get back to the boat. When I reach the mooring I can hardly miss the opulent vessel parked a little further on. It is called ‘Boatel’ for obvious reasons and is a luxury version of our houseboat constructed by the same company ‘All Seasons’.

However, our craft has luxury enough for this photographer and I am about to sit back and relax with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake.

Until my next blog, enjoy our wonderful wildlife and countryside.

Cheers

Baz

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 this link and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articles

https://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

Trentham winery

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g255355-d1752428-Reviews-Trentham_Estate_Winery_Restaurant-Mildura_Victoria.html

 

Houseboat 2022 Mildura to Trentham Winery….part 1

4 Jun

Houseboat sunset

For any regular followers:

(I am stepping outside my usual SA destinations posts to recount part of my latest houseboat adventure from Mildura. The town is on the Murray River just over the border from the SA Riverland towns of Renmark, Berri and Barmera). The terrain and wildlife are much the same as the Riverland

Dear Reader:

It has been a long drive from Adelaide to Mildura and with the unpacking finished and the boat moved to its new mooring on the Mildura Quay it is time to enjoy a glass of wine, sit back on a comfy couch and admire a glorious river sunset.

Pond by the quay

Purple Swap Hen

Coffee time

The next morning is all business. Sandra checks the maps, two couples take a quick walk up to the local shops to purchase a few extras and Pete stows the fishing gear and coolers on the rear deck. The weather is fine so I wander over to the recreation area opposite which has a lovely pond used to rear protected, native fish species. The pond is a perfect place to take some close-up shots of the aquatic birds I will encounter along the river. In addition, the little coffee shop alongside the pond is ideal for an early morning ‘cuppa’ and a calorie laden treat for breakfast.

Swallows on outboard by Peter Zab using iPhone

Back on the houseboat we’re waiting for everyone to come aboard. I watch the swallows hawking for insects alongside the boat. They are incredibly fast and acrobatic and never seem to slow down. Pete notices a pair resting on the small outboard motor of our attached dinghy and zeroes in on them with his iPhone.

Sandra at the helm

Ropes are untied, Sandra opens the throttles and blasts the reversing horn…we are off; cruising around 7km/hr. I climb the stairs to the top deck and take up a position near the front, ready to brace my camera against a fibreglass side panel. From this position I am able to sight a target coming towards me from the riverbanks on either side of the boat. It is tricky photography and stretches the Nikon P900’s capabilities to the limit.

View of Whistling Kite from the boat

Whistling Kite through the telephoto

Our destination is Trentham winery about 10 kms away by river. The scenery along the way is classic Murray River scrub with Mallee trees, a few errant Willows and billabongs dotted with massive dead River Gums protruding like bony, grey fingers. At the top of one fading gum, I spot a Whistling Kite and further along the river there is an Australian Pelican perched on an old tree stump. My final shot for the morning, as the winery is just around the bend, an Anhinga or Snake-bird drying its wings after hunting in the river………….to be continued…. 

Anhinga drying wings

Australian Pelican and rosella

Please comment on this story if you find Houseboat posts interesting.

Cheers

Baz

Additional notes

This is an easy holiday which is quite suitable for families and active seniors as tying up the boat requires some mobility and strength. Only a driver’s license is required to operate a houseboat and instruction is given prior to use.

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 this link and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articles:

https://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

For more information about Trentham Winery go to:

https://www.visitvictoria.com/regions/The-Murray/eat-and-drink/Wineries/Trentham-Estate-Winery

Meadows to Cox Scrub along Bull Creek Road

15 May

White-cheeked Rosella

Dear Reader:

There is a layby just a 400 meters along Bull Creek Road which starts just outside Meadows on the road to Ashbourne. It is a unique viewing point as the road also passes through a cutting which exposes the root systems of a large eucalypt. The layby overlooks a steep hillside providing a direct line of sight into the canopies of the surrounding trees. I can hear Rosellas and ravens calling and a quick sweep with the telephoto lens reveals a White-cheeked Rosella perched on a branch. While I concentrate on the bird a Little Raven lands by the roadside to scavenge on the carcass of a road-kill possum.

Cutting with exposed roots

Little Raven

I continue along the road for a further 400 meters to another layby which has quite a different outlook. A small section of bush is fenced off and surrounded by grazing land. High in the sky, I notice the circling motion of a large raptor. Once again, the amazing 83x magnification of my Nikon P900 comes to the fore and I recognise the bird as a Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australia’s largest bird of prey.

Wedge-tailed Eagle

My next deviation from the main road is a right hand turn into Ushers Road, a dirt track 3.7 Kms further on from the last layby. The road follows a creek surrounded by open farmland. There are Fairy Wrens and sparrows flitting across it. I catch a glimpse of a hare racing across the paddocks and some Galahs are feeding in the distance. As my main objective is Bull Creek Road’s wildlife I travel just a short distance before returning to the main road.

Creek bed and open pasture

Superb Fairy Wren

Around 7 kms from Ushers Road, is the little hamlet of Ashbourne which features a lovely old church and the iconic Greenman Inn. The building dates from 1865 when it was a general store and post office. Today, the Greenman is a contemporary establishment with country charm and a pub style menu sourced from local produce. It is both family and pet friendly. However, plan your drive carefully as the Greenman is closed on a Mondays and Tuesdays.

Greenman at Ashbourne

Little Corellas

Ashbourne is characterised by some massive eucalypts and pine trees sitting alongside the inn and church. As I wander around the area I can hear the raucous calls of Little Corellas and Galahs and it doesn’t take too long to find and photograph both species of parrot.

Pair of Common Brown butterflies

Bridge over Finniss River

Two kilometres beyond Ashbourne, the Finniss River is crossed by an historic Bridge which was constructed in 1865. There is a little water in the river and I climb down the bank careful not to lacerate myself on blackberry bushes. A White-faced Heron takes flight and several Little Ravens retreat high into high the canopy of the River Gums growing alongside the Finniss. As I make my way back up to the car I notice several brownish butterflies and with a little patience and some luck I manage to photograph a pair.

Turn around destination at Cox Scrub

The final destination for this part of my drive lies another 3.5 kilometres past the bridge. Cox Scrub Conservation Park is an area I have written about previously (see link below). There is a car parking area surrounded by trees and I notice a variety of tiny birds flitting around. I use the telephoto to track them and recognise Striated Pardalotes, Silvereyes and Weebills but they are too small and fast to capture with a camera. Perhaps another day when I have more time.

Grey Fantail

Through the scrub I can see a small clearing with some fallen tree trunks nearby. I sit for a while and watch the birds and eventually a Grey Fantail comes close enough to photograph. A nice way to end this part of my Bull Creek Drive and the car park is as safe place to swing round and head back to the city.          

Cheers

Baz

Additional notes

Cox Scrub CP post

This is an easy drive which is quite suitable for families and seniors with amenities at Ashbourne and Meadows.

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 this link and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articleshttps://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

Hindmarsh Island ……Part 2

13 Apr

…….Continued from my last post about Hindmarsh Island……

White-faced Heron stalking

Dear Reader:

Having explored the little settlement by the channel I decide to drive a little further on this side island before cutting inland and heading to the Murray Mouth. A fortunate decision, as I spot a Royal Spoonbill working the shallows near a patch of reeds, a Black Swan just taking to the air and a heron stalking prey; all just a couple of hundred metres further down the track. Window down, some quick snaps and fingers crossed!

 

Spoonbill at work

Swan take off

It is only a five-minute drive to the river mouth but the wind has certainly whipped up the water and bent the grassy pastures. The area around the Murray mouth has a varied collection of shacks, the signposted entrance to a conservation park and even a pop-up coffee van.

 

Murray Mouth with dredge in background

Surprise…time for a break

Despite the blustery weather a tourist boat is taking groups from Goolwa along the sheltered reaches of the Coorong to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. As I lift the camera to photograph the boat I notice a Pacific Gull tracing its path in the foreground, a nice image !

 

Tourist boat and gull in synch

There is a sign near the mouth for the Lawari Conservation Park which covers 106 hectares at the eastern end of Hindmarsh Island incorporating natural coastal scrub and former grazing land. Lawari means Cape Barren Goose in the local Ngarrindjeri language. Over a hundred different species of birds have been recorded in this park and there are significant reptile species as well as Western Grey Kangaroos.

 

Cape Barren Geese

Entrance to park near the river mouth

The wind and cloud have made the Murray Mouth too difficult to photograph as the wildlife is taking shelter in the grass and shrubs. I turn for home and retrace my path down the middle of the island stopping at the memorial to Captain Charles Sturt who was the first European explorer to view the Mouth of the Murray.

 

Sturt memorial

Layby near the bridge

 

Just before I cross the bridge back to the mainland there is a shelter with parking, a barbecue area and detailed graphics about Hindmarsh Island’s history. I take a path through the scrub leading a to a lookout where I can Goolwa and catch a glimpse of an old paddle steamer at the docks. This visit and reading the historical information enthuse me to return on a sunnier day and explore more of this special place where history, culture and wildlife are so closely interwoven.   

Cheers

Baz

Additional notes

This is an easy drive and walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors. Hindmarsh Island is dog friendly except for the Conservation Park.

Some useful links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindmarsh_Island#Lonely_Island

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 this link and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articles

https://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

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