Apostlebirds at Taplan in the Murray Mallee
Over on Trevor’s Travels I have been writing about the Taplan Railway Centenary celebrations I attended in October last year. Taplan is – or should I say – was a small rural community centred around the railway line running through the Murray Mallee region of South Australia. The town hardly exists and the railway line was removed in 1995. I grew up on a wheat/sheep farm there, went to the local primary school and still have many great memories of the area. I get back there far too infrequently, despite my nephew still working the family farm.
While the ceremonies were in full swing a family of Apostlebirds came hopping around the gathered crowd, including the dignitaries. I wasn’t quick enough with my camera. After the celebrations were over, my brother insisted on taking me to visit the old farmhouse where I grew up. I am pleased I did; a small group of Apostlebirds were fussing around in the chook yard there having a drink from the chickens’ trough.
I have reported these sightings because they are significant. While this species is common to very common much further east, there are only a few populations here in South Australia. This is one of them. My brother tells me that they have always been around the old farmhouse and nearby, but my memory must be failing as I can’t remember them from my childhood. Sigh.
Very interesting Trevor. I’ve certainly never seen one of these birds around my place in the Mallala district.
They are very sparsely distributed in the eastern parts of SA. I know of a few populations around Peterborough and have recently seen them at Gladstone. There was also a recent report of some at Balaklava if my memory is correct, so it is quite possible that some could be seen in your area. We will be travelling through that area tomorrow, so I’ll keep an eye open – as I always do.