On the road to do some birding
2007 New South Wales Trip Report #1
Murray Bridge to Lameroo
My wife and I are currently on a 23 day holiday trip through New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra), Victoria and parts of South Australia. We have a number aims for this trip:
- To visit our son and daughter-in-law in Sydney
- To visit friends in Melbourne
- To see Floriade in Canberra
- For me to do some serious birding away from home
- For my wife to get more photos of Australian plants
Over the coming weeks I will be posting a series of short trip reports, together with photos taken on the trip.
Murray Bridge to Lameroo:
I commenced my list of birds for the trip as we crossed the bridge driving out of Murray Bridge. A Whistling Kite was gliding above the river. This is always a lovely bird to add to any list of species. It was the first official bird of our trip.
We had set off about an hour later than expected so there were limited opportunities to stop for birding along the way. Most of my listing was done on the move from the car. I was careful to write in my notebook only when my wife was driving (but she is sometimes generous enough to write in my notebook at my request).
Driving through Tailem Bend I added Crested Pigeon and Spotted Turtledove to the list. I was on the lookout for pelicans but there were none soaring over the river as they often do here.
On the road through the mallee on the way to Lameroo there were many birds on the sides of the road, in the roadside verge or flying over the road. Australian Magpies were seen every hundred metres or so, sometimes in groups of three or more. At the little village of Jabuk I saw my first Black Backed Magpie, a race of the Australian Magpie. This area is a region of transition and both races can be found along this road, sometimes interbreeding.
Also common along this stretch of road were Little Ravens, White-winged Choughs and Willie Wagtails. I also saw several Common Bronzewing Pigeons and two Grey Currawongs.
Lovely! And 23 days? I’m jealous. Fantastic picture of the whistling kite! What lens do you use? Mine never turn out that clear.
we’re having 8 or 9 days in St. Helen’s, which is not quite 23 days on the road, but very nice, just the same.
Hi there Meryl,
We’ve worked hard for this break and feel we deserve it. All photos on this blog and on my gallery have been taken with a Canon S2 IS with a 12x zoom. The photo of the W Kite was taken at full zoom and then a little more tweaking and cropping on the computer. No fancy lens – just point and shoot. I’m very pleased with the results.
Thanks John – hope you have a great time. We are having a great time – read all about it on both this blog (about the birds) and my travel blog (about the scenery and other things we do and see.
Have a safe trip, Trevor. I hope you see plenty of interesting birds. Your mentioning the magpies reminded me that I was trying to work out where the black-backs became white-backs on my way back to Mello from the north. I kept forgetting to check, so I’m still not sure!
I have seen the occasional Black-backed Magpie at home in Murray Bridge. They really start becoming obvious in the first 50-100 km east of home. From about Lameroo they are generally all Black-backed.
Around Geranium approx 100km east of Murray Bridge I have observed both feeding together – they probably interbreed in this zone too.