Favourite Birding Spot # 6 Cleland Wildlife Park

Entrance to Cleland Wildlife Park, South Australia

Entrance to Cleland Wildlife Park, South Australia

I love travelling so I can go birding in a new area. Last week I visited Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. This park is run by the National Parks and Wildlife of South Australia. It is a small part of the Cleland Conservation Park.

It has been quite a while since my last visit. In another life I had taken many groups of primary school children to this wonderful park. On quite a few of these occasions the visit was a part of a school camp at the nearby Woodhouse Scout Camp.

Southern Brown Bandicoot, Cleland Wildlife Park

Southern Brown Bandicoot, Cleland Wildlife Park

The beauty of this wildlife park is that one gets a very close up look at many of the birds and animals native to Australia. These include a range of different species, including kangaroo, wallaby, wombat, echidna, bandicoots, potoroos and bettongs. In one spot you can have your photo taken with a koala. A feature of my recent visit was the absolutely gorgeous four dingo pups. They were about four weeks old.

Dingo pup, Cleland Wildlife Park

Dingo pup, Cleland Wildlife Park

The main attraction of Cleland for me is the birdlife. The area is well wooded and so there are many native birds resident in and around the park. There are two walk through aviaries which enable one to get up close to many bird species. This is just great for photography. There is also a large wetlands area for all the water birds.

Over coming weeks I will feature some of the photos I took of the birds there. If you are impatient you might want to visit my photo gallery  (sorry this gallery has been removed). I took over 200 photos that day, so you will have plenty to look at!

Happy Birding.


This article was updated in August 2015.


14 Responses to “Favourite Birding Spot # 6 Cleland Wildlife Park”

  1. […] always a delight to see this dainty bird. This photo was taken inside a walk through aviary at the Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. There were even more Red Browed Finches on the outside of […]

  2. […] photo above was not taken at the time. It was taken last year in the Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills. Wednesday June 27th, 2007 | Categories: Waterbirds; Spoonbills » […]

  3. Samantha says:

    the dingos are sooo,ooo,ooo cute!!!!!!!!!
    can i have one??

  4. Trevor says:

    Hi there Samantha – welcome to my birding blog.

    Baby dingos seem cute – but you have to be very experienced animal keepers plus have a special licence to have these as pets. They are best left out in the wild, or in zoos where we can all enjoy them.

  5. […] metropolitan area. My most recent sighting of this delightful species was on a visit to the Cleland Wildlife Park. As I was about to enter one of the walk through aviaries I was entranced by a large group, perhaps […]

  6. lyn says:

    Last week in stirling south australia i had the pleasure of observing a dainty little bird amongst the autumn leaves chocolate brown with a little white strips i have never seen this after living here 10 years ive tried to find out what it was without success, can you help? regards lyn

  7. Trevor says:

    Hi there Lyn – welcome to my birding blog.

    From your description it is hard to tell exactly what you saw. It could be any one of several different species. My immediate thought was White-browed Scrubwren. Looking through my field guides it could also be one of thornbills, perhaps the Brown or the Chestnut-rumped Thornbill. I also though of female Superb Fairy-wrens, but they don’t have a white strip.

    Have you looked in a field guide? Your local library should have one to consult.

    Sorry I can’t be of more help – LBBs (Little Brown Birds) confuse even very experienced birders.

  8. lyn says:

    Thankyou Trevor,I dont think wren as im quite familiar with them,this was very pretty,a deep glossy dark brown maybe a thornbill,as it was in a hawthorn tree ,that sounds ridiculus sorry!Actually im really inspired to become a birder so will go in search of the field guide you mentioned.Thanks again you sound like a very interesting man,keep up your good work.

  9. Trevor says:

    Thanks again Lyn. Most good bookshops have a range of excellent Australian Bird Field Guides available. Expect to pay $35-45 dollars. All are very thorough and mostly very accurate – it just comes down to personal taste and your budget.

    Even if you don’t become an avid birder like me, having a field guide available in the house (or car when travelling) is always handy for identifying that unusual bird that might come into the garden – or seen on a walk or at a picnic.

    You could also benefit from a good pair of binoculars – camera shops often have a good range. Expect to pay $125 and upwards. Professionals can pay as much as $2000 or more. I get by with a pair at the cheap end of the scale.

    For extra help and ideas go to the Contents pages on the sidebar of this blog. There you will find links to a useful series of articles I wrote some time ago. It’s called “How to be a Birder”.

    Look through the categories lists on the sidebar too – they are links to many more articles. To see all of the articles (over 900 now) go to the Archives section at the top of this page.

    There – that should keep you happy for months.

    Don’t forget to go out and actually watch the birds!!!!!

  10. Woodswallows says:

    […] all that many photos of this species. The one featured above was taken inside a large aviary at Cleland Wildlife Park. The one below was taken some years ago just up the road – on one of the rare occasions when one […]

  11. Trevor says:

    This article about Cleland Wildlife Park was updated in August 2015.

  12. I have visited clelland wild life park and found it fascinating, especially the poteroos hopping around freely every where [at least i think thats what they are ]. I enjoy seeing wild birds and photographing then when i can, having been an amateur photographer since i was a twenty year old. living in Renmark for a few years in the early 6o,s . I just enjoy all of GODS creation, trees. hills, birds, kangaroos, Flinders Ranges etc. However i had a bad accident on my posty bike about thirty years ago and injured my back which has gradually detereated until now i have great pain ,and cannot get around so easily as i once could.

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Trevor,

      Thanks for your comments. I, too, enjoy looking at and photographing God’s wonderful and beautiful creation.

      It has been several years since we went to Cleland, and I can’t recall what the little animals were that move around freely everywhere. I would have thought Southern Bandicoots which are also common outside the enclosures and throughout the Adelaide Hills.

      I also have developed a serious and painful back condition in recent years which is sometimes limiting movement when out bush. The cortinsone injections only give a limited relief. [sigh]

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