Look out owl

After nearly three weeks visiting family in Sydney and playing with our delightful grandchildren, we are on our way home again. We have reached Narrandera in the Riverina region of New South Wales. This is one of our regular stops on our way to and from Sydney.

We treated ourselves to a wonderful meal for dinner at the Hing Wah Chinese Restaurant in the main street. The food was delicious and the service excellent. I highly recommend this eatery. On our way back to our cabin in the caravan park we nearly hit an owl as it crossed the road in front of our car.

I am not sure what species it was but from its colour – mostly brown – and size it was possibly a Tawny Frogmouth or a Boobook Owl. It certainly did not have the lighter colours of a Barn Owl, and it was too big to be an Owlet Nightjar. It made a good ending to a rather poor birding journey today. Between Sydney and here we saw very few birds, except for a half hour stop for afternoon tea at the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens.

UPDATE: at 5:30am the next morning I heard the call of a Southern Boobook Owl just outside our cabin in the caravan park where we were staying for the night. It was good to have my initial identification confirmed.

Birding in the Narrandera region

Wetlands at Narrandera, New South Wales

Sydney Trip report June 2011

I’ve been really slow getting these trip reports written and posted here; life has been busy and demanding. (I’m supposed to be retired – whatever that means.)

On our return leg from a holiday in Sydney in June of this year we stopped for one night at Narrandera. It’s an area I’d like to stay in for a week or more. The caravan park looks very inviting; we stayed in a cabin but I’d like to take our caravan there and other places along the way. In the caravan park office I gathered together several free brochures on highlights of the area, including three on birding in the region. It has a very rich and interesting range of birds present.

One of the places mentioned on one pamphlet was the wetland area just off the main highway on the southern approach to the town. On our way out we spent about 20 minutes here but the bird life was not very forthcoming. It was very cold, overcast, threatening to rain and windy. The light was also very poor so I didn’t manage much in the way of bird photos. The list of birds was also rather poor:

Australian Raven
Little Pied Cormorant
Dusky Moorhen
Eurasian Coot
Australasian Grebe (see photo below)
Yellow Rosella
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Grey Fantail
Australian Magpie
Laughing Kookaburra
Rock Dove

Australasian Grebe, Narrandera wetlands, New South Wales

That’s not a bird

Who is that hiding up there in the gutter?

Sydney Trip Report June 2011

We had a very comfortable cabin at the Lake Talbot Tourist Park, Narrandera, on our journey home. Next morning I found out that we’d had a free-loader – someone sleeping in the gutter of the roof outside (see photo above).  I gave him a gentle prod with a broom and found out that we’d had a Brush-tailed Possum sleeping just outside our cabin.

Brush-tailed Possum

A little bit of birding in Narrandera

View from the balcony of our cabin in Narrandera

Sydney Trip report June 2011

On the first day of our journey home we stayed in a cabin in the Lake Talbot Tourist Park, the same park as on our way over. This time we were upgraded to a cabin with a spa. Nice added extra at no extra cost. We had a very nice spa before retiring for the night. Next morning when we opened the blinds we were pleased with the view from our cabin balcony. This overlooked Lake Talbot and I was able to make a very nice list of birds while we had breakfast and packed the car (see the list below). Before leaving we drove down to the boat launching ramp just below our cabin and I was able to add a few more species to a growing list.

Just after breakfast I noticed a few birds in the bushes near the balcony, including several Chestnut-rumped Thornbills. It flew off before I could get a good shot, so I apologise for the blurred image (below). You can see better photos here.

Blurred photo of a Chestnut-rumped Thornbill in flight

Birds seen in or near Lake Talbot Tourist Park, Narrandera:

  • Black swan
  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  • Galah
  • Yellow Rosella
  • Black cormorant
  • White-necked Heron
  • Yellow-billed Spoonbill
  • Hoary Headed Grebe
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Pacific Black Duck
  • Grey Fantail
  • Willie Wagtail
  • Yellow-rumped Thornbill
  • Chestnut-rumped Thornbill
  • Weebill
  • Magpie Lark
  • Common Blackbird
  • Rock Dove
  • Crested Pigeon
  • Australian Magpie

A short stay in Narrandera, New South Wales

Lake Talbot Tourist Park, Narrandera, NSW

Sydney Trip Report June 2011

On our trip to Sydney earlier this year we stopped for the night at the Lake Talbot Tourist Park on the edge of Narrandera in the mid west of New South Wales. It’s a lovely town with beautiful country all around, the kind that makes you decide to make a return visit some day. We had a cabin booked for the night and this was very comfortable and we had a good night’s sleep. I’d recommend this park to any visitors.

Next morning I took out a few minutes to get some photos of the park and the lake. I could hear plenty of birds calling and saw a few in the park but didn’t have time to take any photos of them. Instead, I’ll just list the birds heard or seen as I packed the car.

  • Galah
  • Australian Raven
  • Common Blackbird
  • Willie Wagtail
  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  • Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
  • Weebill
  • Australian Magpie
  • Noisy Miner
  • Laughing Kookaburra
  • Little Pied Cormorant
  • Black Swan
  • Grey Fantail
  • White-winged Chough
  • Magpie Lark

This area is obviously very good for birding and I’d like to explore the region in more depth someday. When we paid for our stay, the park office had several brochures available about birding places in the district. These pamphlets listed about 6 or 7 good birding spots near the town plus a little further off. It’s good to see that birders are being catered for in this way. It’s certainly a good birding are because this part of the state is a transition zone between birds of the highlands to the east and the much drier plains to the west.

Someday I’ll spend a week or so there.

Good birding.

Lake Talbot, Narrandera, NSW

Lake Talbot, Narrandera, NSW