Lake Wyara. Expanding the photo displays the huge numbers of waterbirds.
Having just received an email from my friend Ken, who is continuing the work in Roudsea Woods UK, I felt inspired to do a post on the Birds of Kilcowera.
With its eastern boundary backing to the Currawinya National Park, and many of its creeks and run offs filtering towards Lake Wyara, Kilcowera is home to about 180 species over a wide terrain. Lake Wyara lies in a semi closed basin being fed by 5 large creeks. This results in a widely fluctuating water level. In 100 years it has dried 18 times and overflowed 5. This results in beaches at different heights. Dense samphire shrubs, succulents and saltbushes line the shore. To the north large River gums grow on the dunes and, in the water, sea grasses. Lake Wyara is a salt lake, and, close by, separated by a large dune is Lake Numalla. This is is a fresh water lake. It is because of this uniqueness that Currawinya was declared a national park in 1991.
A great Cormorant disturbed by our presence takes to the air for a look. ( photo Dave Cotter)
What is unique about Kilcowera is you can experience as much of this as you wish at whatever level you are at, or just camp, or bush walk, the choice is yours. I was de;lighted to discover that Peter Slater who produced "The Slater field Guide to Australian Birds" has used Kilcowera and left fabulous photographs, books and his old binoculars there. The book is a favourite of mine as the bird drawings are superb, and the book is robust and shaped to fit in a pocket.
A Whistling Kite flies in to take advantage of the water birds lifting from the ground. ( Photo Dave Cotter)
However, with Dave and myself working on Kilcowera we only had a few short hours to do some birding. In that time we had see over 80 species. Some are favourites of mine e.g. Brolga and Major Mitchell, and its always nice to see flocks of Budgerigars, Pied Honeyeater and Australian Hobby.
Map of the National Park and its lakes. To the west is Kilcowera, To the north is Boorara. The map shows the old family homestead locations of Currawinya and Caiwarro.
Birds are a vital barometer to the health of the planet, by simply watching them and keeping a record you can obtain statistics that assist scientist research. I keep lists and can use them the next time I am there and gain a picture over time. Its a good excuse for a walk and also helps you observe other animals. We saw feral cats, pigs and goats whilst out and about as well as Kangaroo.
Red Tailed Black Cockatoos. ( Photo Dr Jim Fowler 2011)
Kilcowera Bird list. Australian Magpie, Apostle Bird, Australasian Grebe, Australian Darter, Australian Hobby, Australian Pelican, Australian Raven, Australian Ringneck Parrot, Australian White Ibis, Australian Wood Duck, Black Kite, Black Swan, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike, Black-shoulderd Kite, Blue Bonnet, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Blue-winged Parrot, Brolga, Brown Falcon, Budgerigar, Cattle Egret, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Cockatiel, Crested Bellbird, Crested Pigeon, Diamond Dove, Dollar Bird, Emu, Galah, Great-white Egret, Greater Cormorant, Grey Fantail, Grey Teal, Hardhead, Hoary -headed Grebe, Intermediate Egret, Laughing Kookaburra, Little Black Cormorant, Little Corella, Little Crow, Little Pied Cormorant, Major Mitchell, Masked Woodswallow, Mulga Parrot, Nankeen Kestrel, Orange Chat, Pacific Black Duck, Peaceful Dove, Pied Butcherbird, Pied Cormorant, Pied Honeyeater, Pink-eared Duck, Plumed Whistling Duck, Purple Swamp Hen, Red-capped Robin, Red-rumped Parrot, Red tailed Black Cockatoo, Richards Pipit, Royal Spoonbill, Sacred Kingfisher, Singing Honeyeater, Splendid Wren, Spotted Bowerbird, Spotted Harrier, Straw-necked Ibis, Stubble Quail, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Swamp Harrier, Tree Martin, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Welcome Swallow, Whistling Kite, White-faced Heron, White-plumed Honeyeater, White Browed Babbler, White Necked Heron, White-winged Cough, Willy Wagtail, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Yellow- throated Miner, Zebra Finch. Total 83.. July 2012.