Tolderol Game Reserve is something of a mecca for South Australian birders and often attracts interstate birders as well. I must admit that although it is only about an hour’s drive from Murray Bridge I have only been there a handful of occasions, and then only in the last few years.
Being a game reserve it has been set aside for shooters. The game shooting season in this state is restricted to only a few days annually, and on some years shooting is closed all year. In recent years this has been as a result of the extended drought we are experiencing.
Tolderol Game Reserve consists of a series of shallow ponds and connecting channels. Until recently there was usually water in the ponds at all times. At present there is very little water, even in the channels.
A wide variety of water birds can usually be found here: ducks, spoonbills, egrets, herons, ibis, swans, geese, grebes, darters, pelicans, dotterels, plovers, lapwings, crakes, rails, stilts and avocets.
Other species recorded include hawks, harriers, eagles, kites, terns, gulls, sandpipers, stints and other small wading birds.
The game reserve is next to the northern shore of Lake Alexandrina. On my last visit I didn’t take any photos of the reserve; without water and birds it was most uninteresting so I took the photo below of the lake. For those who aren’t familiar with the area, Australia’s largest river system, the Murray-Darling basin drains into this lake which in turn flows into the Coorong and the Southern Ocean.