Tubbo Station, central New South Wales

Sydney Trip Report June 2011

On the second day of our return trip from Sydney we drove through Tubbo Station country near Darlington Point which is between Narrandera and Hay in the Riverina region of New South Wales. This large merino sheep station extends over nearly 19,000 hectares in size and runs over 10,000 sheep plus cattle. It also has extensive irrigation areas.

As we were driving along I jotted down a list of birds seen as we travelled the highway through the station. This is not the ideal birding experience and I would love to have stopped a few times but we had plenty of ground to cover on the day. While my wife was driving I made the following list of birds seen:

Australian Raven
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Australian Magpie
Australian Magpie Lark
Yellow Rosella
Spotted Harrier
White-necked Heron
White-faced Heron
Australian Wood Duck
Laughing Kookaburra

It’s not a big list but it has some interesting species in it. We saw very few Apostlebirds on our trip so it was good to see them feeding on the roadside. Yellow Rosellas, a sub-species of the Crimson Rosella, is always a delight to observe. Spotted Harriers are wonderfully majestic birds as the soar over the paddocks and the herons were obviously taking advantage of the fact that there were many irrigation channels in the area.

Probably the highlight for me was seeing three White-necked Herons flying together. This species has been something of a bogey bird for me. Although widespread and common in my home territory, I have observed this species on only a handful of occasions over the last two decades.

The photo below was taken only a few days ago at Mannum in South Australia.

White-necked Heron being harassed by a Silver Gull