Birds of the Edithburgh Nature Reserve

Eucalyptus erythrocorys (red-capped gum), Edithburgh Nature Reserve

We’ve visited Edithburgh on the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia a number of times over the years. We used to go regularly when my brother-in-law lived there. On our recent visit we were pleased to revisit some of our favourite spots. One of these was the Edithburgh Nature Reserve, just across the road where we used to stay just two minutes’ walk from the main street.

This large park near the main shopping street of this coastal town is a wonderful asset to the community and is maintained by local people, though on this visit we noticed that there has been some recent neglect. It is in need of some tidying up and the list of plant species at the entrance has been badly vandalised since our last visit.

On the last day of our recent short holiday in the region we packed up and then spent about an hour in this park. The showers of the previous two days had gone, the sun was shining but the southerly wind was still bitterly cold. I’ve spent some hours birding in this park over the years, usually with some interesting species. I didn’t have high hopes on this occasion, being the start of winter and quite cold.

Grey Shrike-thrush, Edithburgh Nature Reserve

The Grey Shrike-thrush shown above caused some puzzlement at first. I heard it off in the distance and tracked it down. It’s call was distinctly different from the birds I’m familiar with at home. The bird took pity on me and responded to my imitations and came quite close, posing several times for a photo.

Over the next hour I steadily added to a small list of species seen in or near the park. Welcome Swallows swooped low over head and New Holland Honeyeaters flitted from bush to tree and back again, never sitting still enough for photos. Silvereyes flew overhead and I heard several Weebills calling nearby. Several Australian Magpies searched on the ground for a snack while a small flock of Galahs flew quickly overhead. A group of Crested Pigeons rested on the power lines while the Rock Doves settled on the roof of an old church over the road.

Red Wattlebirds gave their harsh calls and chased away the lone Singing Honeyeater trying to feed on the nectar of flowering trees. A Nankeen Kestrel glided overhead, causing alarm calls from the smaller bush birds. I heard a Common Blackbird give its startled alarm call from a nearby garden and Magpie Larks checked out the roadside puddles left by rain showers.

It’s not a big list, but it was an enjoyable hour of birding enhanced by getting several good flower shots. Oh, I nearly forgot the Willie Wagtail which refused to pose facing me.

Willie Wagtail, Edithburgh Nature Reserve

Calothamnus quadrifidus (one-sided bottlebrush), Edithburgh Nature Reserve

Eucalyptus erythrocorys (red-capped gum), Edithburgh Nature Reserve


6 Responses to “Birds of the Edithburgh Nature Reserve”

  1. Susan says:

    Nice pictures, as usual. I love the names of some of your birds–like Welcome Swallows and Willie Wagtail. It seems like our birds in the U.S. have quite plain names in comparison.

    My husband and I recently visited an aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where we saw what appeared to be Rainbow Lorrikeets close up and personal. I thought of you and Ken R. when I saw them. 🙂

  2. John Tongue says:

    Good to see no bias, and you’re fairly representing both Corinne’s and your passions!

  3. Ken Rolph says:

    Our lorikeets are pampered little pets. I’ve just made them a next box, which I intend to put up in the melaleuca tree when the wind stops blowing. It’s flowering with red bottlebrush at present, so getting a lot of visitors. Australian birds are a bit finicky about next boxes, so I don’t know how it will go. But they are regular visitors, especially one pair.

  4. Trevor says:

    Full marks for trying, Ken. I had intended making a few nest boxes this year too – but other parts of my life got in the way.

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