Ramsey Way Conservation Park, Yorke Peninsula
On our way to Edithburgh for a short holiday last week we took a short detour on a side road a short distance off the main highway. This dirt road took us through some farming country and passed the small Ramsey Way Conservation Park (see photos above and below).
I’ve done a little research online and can find only two references to this park: the government declaration of the park concerning mining restrictions (2008) and notice of a field trip visit by the Native Orchid Society of South Australia next Sunday (June 5th 2011). It is not even listed yet on the National Parks website list of conservation parks. Now that I know that I would have spent a little more time there doing a bird and plant survey. Still, it was late afternoon and the light was fading quickly, so it would have been an inadequate survey.
I’m sure that a longer survey of the park would reveal a diverse and interesting bird and plant list. This park is one of only a few remnant bush areas in the region and so is a valuable asset regarding the local flora and fauna. My list seems very inadequate, but given the time restraints it is a start:
- Little raven
- White-browed babbler
- Magpie lark
- Australian Magpie
- Willie wagtail
- Yellow-rumped pardalote
- Spiny-cheeked honeyeater
- Grey butcherbird
- Crested pigeon
- Common Bronzewing pigeon
- Red-rumped parrot
- Nankeen kestrel
Hi Trevor, thanks for this report, although it’s pretty old now. I have only recently come into birding and as I’m heading to Edithburgh later in the year, am researching places to go. Still nothing on the web about this conservation park but there is a management plan document from 2009 which shows the area on a map. I will try to take a look on my trip over there.
Any tips or hints on where to go and what to see would be most welcome. Also, which do you think is the best bird book for a budding birdwatcher? (This has all happened because I went to Outer Hebrides last month and did a birding tour!)
Welcome to the fascinating world of birding. Warning: once bitten there is no turning back! Here in Australia, we have a wealth of wonderful and colourful birds to keep one entertained and amazed.
As far as bird books go, we have a wealth of excellent field guides of the birds of Australia. All are very good to excellent. Any good bookshop (and some newsagents) will have one or more titles to choose from, ranging from $20 – $40. All are good value and I don’t have a favourite. Choose one and get to know it by studying it before you head off to YP. Test it out by identifying local birds first. It may take a few years of experience to quickly identify the more difficult species, but the common ones should come quickly. Persevere with the hard ones. (PS don’t buy one with photos of birds – field guides should have sketches of typical birds showing the major features.)
Yorke Peninsula is a great place to go birding. From about Oct-Nov many of the migratory birds will be arriving from northern Asia. Cast an eye over any of the beaches and wetlands, especially tidal flats at low tide (Coobowie is great for this). The conservation park I write about in this article is worth a visit in the spring and summer; I really only spent a few minutes there so I don’t know its potential. The wildflower gardens right in Edithburgh are worth a visit too. Any of the beaches along the coast road to Marion Bay and the roadside verges on that road are excellent as well. Innes National Park is vast and has a vast range of birds, from sea-eagles to emus to malleefowl through to plovers, dotterels, finches, parrots… I could go on and on. If you did a week of intensive birding down there, expect to see over 100 different species.
Thanks for your response Trevor. I’m anticipating with all the rain this year that it may be a good year for the parks along the peninsula and am looking forward to my trip. Hopefully Ramsay will be its best kept secret 😉