A private moment for two Galahs

Galahs, Lake Hattah, Victoria

Quite frequently I come across birds doing something interesting or unusual or even bizarre. While having lunch at Lake Hattah in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park earlier this year I noticed and photographed these two Galahs in a very private moment.

I almost feel like I was intruding, so I’ll say no more.


There were no galahs at Galah

Galah, Murray Bridge, South Australia

Sydney Trip Report June 2011

When we take the most direct route from home in Murray Bridge to Sydney, we travel through a small locality known as Galah. There is no town there; only a few farm houses, a railway siding and a grain silo. I suspect it was originally called Galah because the parrot is common in the area.

There is a certain irony then in the fact that in all our drives through this area I have never seen a galah flying or perching in a tree or feeding on the grass. Mind you, one can maintain a speed of 100kph through the locality and that only gives me a minute of two to observe any birds that are present.

On this trip I only recorded 3 species:

  • Nankeen Kestrel
  • Little Raven
  • Crested Pigeon

I’m sure if you spent an hour or two scouring the trees and farmland that list would grow considerably, but on most occasions we are on a tight schedule so we can either spend time with family in Sydney, or we are tired on our return and want to get home.

Happy New Year

Galahs at nesting hollow

Happy New Year.

I hope that 2011 brings you many interesting and wonderful birding experiences. I am certainly looking forward to getting out birding a lot more in 2011 than I did over the last few years. Now that I’ve completed the requirements for my Master of Arts Creative Writing degree I am determined to get back to more birding. It has been an intensive time of study, writing, staring at the computer monitor and generally late nights. This New Year has so much promise and so many possibilities. I hope to continue to share my interest in Australian birds here on this site and to encourage my growing readership to participate through the comments section of each article.

New Venture

This year might see a completely new venture on this site. Our daughter is planning on spending half the year teaching overseas. My wife and I are hoping to visit her few a while and I will be taking plenty of photos of birds to share here on this site. We haven’t planned our itinerary yet but let me assure you that we are planning on visiting some very exciting birding parts of Africa. More news on this in coming articles.

First birds for 2011

The New Year is nearly 12 hours old as I write this, but I still haven’t been out birding. After our celebrations I needed to sleep in a little. Just after midnight I heard a solitary Galah flying over our house. What it was doing flying around in the dark I don’t know; perhaps it was on its way home from New Year’s Eve celebrations! I thought I also heard an Australian Owlet-nightjar calling but it didn’t call a second time so I’m not sure about that one. Then at first light there was a Little Raven calling raucously outside our bedroom window. So much for trying to sleep in!

Little Raven

Galahs at Burra Gorge, South Australia

Galahs at Burra Gorge, mid north of South Australia

Earlier this year we paid a quick visit to Burra Gorge in the mid north of South Australia. We were on our way to visit family in Peterborough and Clare. This gorge has a pleasant camping area and an ephemeral creek flowing through. This creek drains some of the ranges to the west.

I’ve only been to this spot a handful of times and can’t really say what birds could be possible. I would anticipate quite a long list as this gorge is in the zone between the wetter areas to the west – places like the Clare Valley – and the salt-bush plains to the east with a very low rainfall.

While we had lunch in the picnic area I managed several photos of this pair of Galahs. The many hollows in the trees in the gorge probably meant they regularly nest in this area.

The gorge is a popular picnic and camping area but the only facilities are several public toilets. Food, fuel and other supplies can be obtained from Burra about 30km to the north west.

Galahs at Burra Gorge, mid north of South Australia

Burra Gorge, mid north of South Australia

Burra Gorge, mid north of South Australia

Birding at Burra Gorge, South Australia

Galah, Burra Gorge, South Australia

Earlier this year we travelled to Clare to visit family. On the way we took a different route, one we hadn’t taken for many years. Along the way we stopped for a short break at Burra Gorge to have lunch. This ephemeral waterway drains through the hills to the south east of the mid-north town of Burra.

We were only there for about a half hour, so the birding opportunities were limited. It was a rather hot day and the bird activity was minimal. There is a pleasant camping area where I’d like to spend a few days sometime and explore along the gorge deeper into the range. On this occasion I only managed a short list of less than a dozen species. This area should produce some interesting birds if one was able to have an extended visit. This is because this gorge is in a zone between the high rainfall area of the Clare Valley to the west, and the much drier salt-bush country to the east.

The Galah featured in the photos on this post looked as if it was about to start nesting in one of the many tree hollows.

Galahs, Burra Gorge, South Australia

Burra Gorge, South Australia

Burra Gorge, South Australia

It was school holiday time and many people were bush camping in the picnic areas. There are no facilities here except for several public toilets. The nearest supplies are in Burra, some 30km to the north west.