Favourite Birding Spot #3 Kinchina, Murray Bridge
Kinchina is a locality about 3km west of our home on the western edge of Murray Bridge, South Australia. It takes me just over a half hour to walk there. More often we drive to the start of a track leading through the area and then walk for about half an hour before returning to the car for the short drive home.
The area originally had a railway siding I think, and there remains the ruin of a house from the early days of settlement in the district. The main Adelaide to Melbourne train line runs through the middle of the area and this is flanked by mainly mallee scrub and open farming country. The scrub area also contains many acacia (wattle) plants, as well as melaleuca, callistomen and correa plants with an understory of quite a range of smaller bushes and ground covers. This makes the area quite rich in flora and one of the better examples of what was here before European settlement.With such a diverse range of flora the fauna is also very good. Of the mammals, Western Grey Kangaroos are present and I have seen Echidnas and Brush-tailed Possums here. The introduced Brown Hare, Rabbit, Red Fox and Feral Cat are also present, unfortunately.
Good birding site
Birding in this area rarely disappoints. I have recorded over 50 species in this locality over the many visits. I am disappointed if my list does not reach 30 after about 30 minutes of walking. Common Bronzewing and Crested Pigeons and Peaceful Doves are all common breeding species in this area. I have seen Brown Falcons, Black-shouldered Kites, Nankeen Kestrels and the beautiful Spotted Harrier. Of the parrots, the Galah is by far the most common, with Mallee Ringnecks, Red Rumped Parrots and Purple-crowned Lorikeets also present.
Small bush birds
Willie Wagtails are very common as are Grey Fantails. Of the robins, the Hooded is resident but I am surprised that I haven’t yet recorded the Red-capped and the Flame Robin which are present only a short distance away. I have seen both the Golden and Rufous Whistlers and if I don’t actually see a Grey Shrike Thrush I usually hear one or more calling.
White-browed Babblers and Variegated Fairy-wrens are usually encountered in their noisy family groups as they scurry from bush to bush. The babblers untidy nests are evident everywhere, seemingly in every bush. Both Spotted and Striated Pardalotes call incessantly from the taller tree canopy. In summer the stunning Rainbow Bee-eater is resident and often nests in the sand banks along the creek banks.
There is almost always something flowering in the Kinchina area. This means that honeyeaters are always present. The New Holland Honeyeaters, Red Wattlebirds and Singing Honeyeaters are the most common species I have recorded there. The Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater and Brown-headed Honeyeaters are not as common but still present on many occasions.
Woodswallows come and go in this area. Only when they nest do they hang around for more than an hour or two. The three species I’ve recorded around here include the Dusky Woodswallow (shown above) and the Masked and White-browed Woodswallows are also occasional visitors.
I’ve only mentioned a few of the species recorded at Kinchina. There are always Australian Magpies and Little Ravens present. The White-winged Choughs have nested in the branches above the track we walk along. Common Starlings and House Sparrows can seen from time to time too. The most beautiful, however, is the Diamond Firetail finch. I haven’t yet managed to get a photo of this delightful species.