Thursday, December 30, 2010
The Darling River at Wilcannia.
It was with some excitement that I booked the shearers quarters for our traditional stay at this wonderful national park. It was with some sadness that some people who said "yes" really meant "no". Buuuut.. refusing to be disappointed I decided to go anyway, and so, David and I set of for the 2400km round trip - keen to see just how the rains and floods had affected the region.
BBQ area at the shearers quarters
The Darling River is like the grand Mississippi River- life to a region, flowing thousands of km providing the water for cotton farms, fruit growers, sheep and cattle stations along the way. It has been abused through ignorance and neglect, as well as deliberate acts of vandalasim. Can it survive?
Emu Lake. Full after being dry for man many years!
Well, I can say the results are amazing. New growth on old river gums, bird life and general wildlife abounds and there is a feeling of luxury about it. However, it is vital for all of us not to fall into a false sense of security. The river system has been abused for over 100 years, much has changed and will never be returned to how it was. We need to be proactive, and ensure the government puts in place legislation that protects, not only the river, but our food supply and the communities that live along its banks.
Emus! Yep- at Emu lake!
Dave and I enjoyed bird watching and fishing for perch. as well as walking through the semi desert conditions. At the end of the day enjoying a BBQ and a beer ( a lemonade for Dave of course!). There were many smaller birds too but we ran out of time
Me! At the ruins of the old homestead.
Happy NEW Year to all!!!
Birds seen:-Red-kneed Dotterel, Blue-winged Parrot, Budgerigar, (huge flock!!), Major Mitchell, Great Egret, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australian Pelican, Splendid Wren, Emu, Silver Gull, Red-backed Kingfisher, Peaceful Dove, Little Corella, Singing Honey Eater, Cockatiel, Australian Pipit, Fairy Martin, House Sparrow, Welcome Swallow, Black-tailed Gallinules, Blue Bonnet Parrot, Sacred Kingfisher, Grey Shrike-thrush, Diamond Dove, Wattle bird, (Spiny-cheeked), Yellow-throated Miner, White-winged Triller, Willy Wagtail, Masked Lapwing, White-necked Heron, Pied Butcherbird, Australian White Ibis, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Australasian Shoveler, Australian Grey Teal, Rainbow Bee-eater, Masked Wood Swallow, Australian Raven, Crested Pigeon, Apostle Bird, Satin Bower Bird, (spotted leaving home), White-winged Chough, Galah, Eastern Rosella, Hard Head, White-faced Heron, Australian Wood Duck, Square-tailed Falcon, Black Falcon, Black Kite, Black- shouldered kite, Nankeen Kestrel, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Yellow-tailed Cockatoo, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike, Bell Miner, Noisy Miner, Pee Wee, Australian Magpie.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Fresh gum leaves
To all my friends I want to wish you all the very best for the season peace, joy and happiness too! I am on holidays for a few weeks so Bitsnbobs will be quiet. Here are some photos from the Australian outback at Christmas
Dry lake beds and
Merry "Aussie" Christmas to you all!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
With the end of year being hectic, it was time to get out, get some fresh air and do some walking. I have often driven past the sign saying "Evans Crown" and so with the weather closing in, I thought it's time to explore it.
Some of the Rock formations at the top
Situated in Honey Suckle Road,in the mountains near Tarana, this interesting rock formation was formed by an ancient volcano and is regarded by the Aboriginals as a sacred site. As we drove up to the car park the smell of honey filled the air- simply delightful. We parked the car, loaded our camel backs and set off.
A lizard ( yet to be identified)
It was not too long before we were greeted by Eastern Spinebills- delightful nectar birds with a sweet song, as well as Eastern and Crimson Rosellas.The air was filled with bird song and purfume. As we climbed the humidity began to give way and a cool breeze felt really good. We nearly stepped on the lizard that was none too happy to be disturbed.
As we reached the crown it is easy to see why the Aboriginals see this place a sacred- there are large caves, the "feeling" of the place is different to the surrounding country and the distant views are superb. I have only felt this in another place - Monolith Valley, where there is a sense of calm, rather like walking into a cathedral.
A turtle rescued.
Sadly my camera gave up the ghost and many of the good photos were "damaged". After lunch on top of the world we descended back to the car. A great way to spent a few hours.
Track notes- Described as difficult by Nat Parks, The walk is fine for the average person. 3- 6km depending on what you explore at the top. The only things to watch out for are water on rocks as they are like glass when wet. Also be aware of the edge of the boulders- Its a long way down! Oh, and watch out for snakes. Finally-respect the area. No fires and take your rubbish with you!
On the way to the Tarana pub we rescued a turtle.
Birds Seen:- Eastern Spinebill. Eastern Rosella, Crimson Rosella, Nakeen Kestrel, Whip Bird, Great Egret, Pacific Black Duck, Australian Wood Duck, Australian Magpie, Australian Raven, Little Raven, Noisy Miner, Starling, House Sparrow, Pee Wee, Bell Miner, Galah, Little Cormorant, Pied Cormorant, Black Faced Cuckoo-shrike. ( more to come..I left my list in the landcruiser...and I will try to identify the lizard lol)
UPDATE- Lizard is a Cunninghams Skink....they eat leaves, small shoots and eat insects when young.