It was a dark and stormy day

Last week we went on a short five day holiday to the south east region of South Australia. I was accompanied by my wife, her mother and our adult daughter. It was our daughter who chose the destination: Robe on the Limestone Coast of southern South Australia.

Robe is a lovely seaside village with a very interesting history. Many original buildings from the middle of the 1800s are still in regular use. Oops – this is starting to sound like a travelogue – I’ll be writing more about that kind of thing on my travel blog here.

Back to the birding.

We left home in Murray Bridge mid-morning. The storm clouds had been gathering, along with a strengthening wind. By the time we reached Meningie it was time for lunch.

Lake Albert, Meningie, South Australia

Lake Albert, Meningie, South Australia

It was useless trying to have a picnic lunch on the beautiful lawns on the shore of Lake Albert in the main street. I parked the Mazda Bravo directly into the prevailing wild wind, lowered the tailgate and tried to assist my wife preparing some lunch. Mother-in-law and daughter wisely stayed in the car. We had to hold onto the food – it was in danger of being blown into Victoria!

Lake Albert, Meningie, South Australia

Lake Albert, Meningie, South Australia

White Caps:

Later we attempted to make a cup of tea. As we carried the mugs from the back of the car to the front to hand them through the window, white-caps appeared on the surface of the tea, splattering it all over the car. That’s wild wind. And it was bitterly cold.

I had to be content to do my birding from the driver’s seat in the car while I enjoyed my meal and cuppa. I didn’t take too many photos – there were very few birds to be seen. They’re not silly – they were probably sheltering somewhere sensible!

Camera trouble:

While trying to get a few shots of the scene I had some camera trouble. Actually the camera was fine – the batteries were flat, as were the next two sets of batteries I tried to use. It was one of those things I neglected to check before leaving home. Lesson learned. Fortunately I had a third set of batteries that kept me going during the short five day holiday. Just as well – I’d left the charger home.

A few hardy birds:

I did record a few hardy birds while we had our lunch. Several Australian Pelicans battled bravely with the wind out on the lake. A small flock of Silver Gulls huddled near some rocks, along with a solitary Dusky Moorhen. Two Little Pied Cormorants courageously sat atop a post on the jetty, defying the wind to blow them into the water. I also observed two Masked Lapwings on the roadside verge as we entered the town, along with several Australian Magpie Larks. Just out of town I saw a single White Faced Heron way out in a paddock – well away from the lake and the wildest of the wind. Two Crested Pigeons clung for dear life on a power line; I was amazed that they hadn’t been blown clear across the country. I think I saw several House Sparrows in bushes near the car, along with a Willie Wagtail and a Common Blackbird.

It was not an auspicious start to birding activities on my mini-holiday.

I’ll write about the rest of the week over the next few days.


2 Responses to “It was a dark and stormy day”

  1. […] first day in particular it was really dark, wild and stormy. I’ve written in more detail in It was a dark and stormy day on my birding […]

  2. […] this picnic and some of the difficulties we experienced with the wind in the article called “It was a dark and stormy day” on my Birding […]

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