A small accident

2007 New South Wales Trip report #14

The next day we were on our way bright and early – for us that is. It was another bright, sunny day with a few clouds and a cool, gentle breeze. Corinne drove for the first leg to Condobolin, seeing I’d done most of the driving yesterday.

The wheat farming district from Lake Cargelligo to Condobolin is largely open, lightly timbered with some remnant vegetation on the roadside. Despite the general sparsity of trees and bushes the birdlife is still quite interesting. Because my wife was driving I could keep a detailed list of species seen as we went along.

Apostlebirds were very numerous, small groups of four to ten were seen every kilometre or so. So were the Australian Magpies, though these were more often encountered singly or in twos and threes. Australian Ravens seem more interested in walking the roadside verges than in flying. This is also true of the many White-winged Choughs seen along this stretch of road. They also seem unafraid of traffic, barely moving out of way of oncoming vehicles.



Crested Pigeons do very well in this district, indicating they have reliable seed producing plants. We also saw small flocks of Galahs and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos along the way. Two Blue Bonnet Parrots flew in front of the car at one point. Magpie Larks feed along the edges of the road too, along with Noisy Miners and Willie Wagtails.

The only raptors we saw on this leg of our journey were several Nankeen Kestrels. More than once I saw one dive from a height of five or more metres into the grass. It was hard to see what each one caught for lunch as we hurtled along the highway at 100kph. It was probably a small reptile, grasshopper or mouse.

Just a short distance from Condobolin we had a small accident. A small flock of four Galahs feeding on the edge of the road was a little slow taking off. One unfortunately hit the passenger-side corner of the windscreen. I didn’t look back, but there is no way it could have survived. The impact even took a small chip out of the glass but it did not crack the glass. If it had shattered – highly unlikely – I would have received a face full of glass, feathers and blood.

Road kills are a frequent occurrence here in Australia unfortunately. Our own record is lower than most; this was only the fourth bird I can recall either of us hitting in nearly forty years of driving.


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