A short break in Clare
On Friday we travelled from home in Murray Bridge to the mid-north town of Clare. Our daughter is a teacher in the local high school. This is a long weekend, so she has taken that opportunity to fly to Sydney to visit her brother and sister in law, as well as friends from England who have recently moved to Sydney. We were left to dog-sit in her house.
I usually take a great deal of interest in observing the birds we see as we drive along. In the farmlands of South Australia there are usually quite a few birds to see along the roads and in nearby paddocks. Interestingly, I did not see all that much of interest. Sure, there were the usual species one would expect to see.
Australian Magpies and Little Ravens are by far the most common birds seen along our roads, closely followed by species like the Crested Pigeon, Common Starling and House Sparrow. Several times I observed Feral Pigeons (Rock Doves) with one flock of about a hundred on the power lines near a bridge. I dare say they breed profusely under the bridge and have food laid on in abundance in the nearby wheat crops and sheds and silos where grain is stored.
The occasional Red Wattlebird flew from tree to tree and several Willie Wagtails hovered near the roadside grass. At one stage the road passes a reservoir. Because we were on a tight time schedule we didn’t have time to check out the water birds there. On other occasions were have seen Australian Pelicans, Black Swans and Little Pied Cormorants on this dam.
Of note was the total absence of raptors during our two hour journey. We usually see quite a few Nankeen Kestrels and Black-Shouldered Kites as we drive along. I’ll especially look out for them on the return trip next week.