One of the advantages of travelling on the River Murray by boat is that occasionally the birds allow the viewers to approach quite close.
The photos of Australian Pelicans shown on today’s post were taken a few months ago at Narrung near the ferry crossing. This crossing is part of the River Murray system linking Lakes Alexandrina and Albert, not all that far from the mouth of the Murray.
Many of my photos – like those shown here today – are now available from my product store TrevorsPhotos including T shirts, caps, mugs, cards and many more items.
A few weeks ago I wrote about a trip I went on via boat through the Coorong south of Adelaide in South Australia. The Coorong is a natural lakes system near the mouth of the River Murray and is acknowledged as one of the major bird habitats in the world.
Just after leaving the river mouth our boat passed the sand bar shown in the photo above. I won’t even attempt to estimate how many Australian Pelicans were sitting there. All I can say is: there must a few fish in the lakes and river system, and this was just one of many large gatherings of this species we saw on the day.
On our boat trip on the River Murray a few weeks ago we went through the lock in the barrages at Goolwa. This allowed us to pass through from the River Murray into the Coorong and travel by boat towards the mouth of the river. Today’s photos show many birds lined up along the top of the barrages.
In the photo above you can see a number of Australian Pelicans, while below is a large gathering of cormorants. Although I’m not absolutely certain, I think that they are probably Little Black Cormorants. They don’t seem to be big enough for the larger Great Cormorant.
One of the photography skills I am trying to perfect is taking shots of birds in flight. I don’t get all that many opportunities to practise, so when birds cooperate and fly slowly just over head I have a go – provided I have my camera at the ready.
On our recent trip across Lake Alexandrina (see previous two posts) several Australian Pelicans flew low over our boat, circling it several times before moving on elsewhere. I had the camera in my hand since I was taking photos of the nearby cliffs and it was ready to shoot.
I am quite pleased with the results.
In my last post here I wrote about a recent boat trip on Lake Alexandrina just south of my home in Murray Bridge. While this boat trip was mainly recreational in purpose, I cannot help but notice birds along the way whether I am driving in a car, travelling on a bus or train, walking or boating.
While travelling at 40kph (25mph) across the water is not conducive to birding – the boat’s engine scares many birds away – some birds are obviously very used to speeding boats on this stretch of water. Silver Gulls followed the wake of the boat as shown in my last post, Australian Pelicans kept fishing less than 40 metres from our racing vessel, cormorants kept bobbing up out of the water here and there and flocks of ducks flew over the lake heading somewhere else to feed.
The photo above shows one of many navigation posts seen at intervals across the lake. The depth of the water varies from a few centimetres through to about 4 – 5 metres. Some sections are far too shallow for safe boating – as we found out later in the day. I deliberately captured both the pelican and two Little Black Cormorants in the photo. Little Black and Little Pied are the two dominant species of cormorant in the lakes and river system of the Lower Murray River.
The photo below shows a view of the lakeside town of Milang. I can thoroughly recommend the little bakery in town, and our friends tell us that the fish and chip shop is also worth patronising.