Last week we spent several days visiting family in Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia. The main focus of this trip was a belated Christmas family get together. My son’s family who were over from Sydney for a few weeks was the main focus, but it was also great to catch up with family members on my wife’s side of the family.
The weather was far too hot to do anything other than casual birding in the back yard. The only interesting sighting over the four days was a solitary Little Eagle soaring majestically overhead early one morning. The Peterborough area is an interesting region from a birding point of view. While many of the species seen further south are present, one can also see some of the more arid region birds around the town and in the nearby farming areas. This is about as far south as some of these arid dwelling birds venture.
One spot I always try to check out when visiting Peterborough is Victoria Park. This park, next to the town’s lovely swimming pool and caravan park features an artificial lake (see photo above). On and around this lake I have recorded quite a good range of water birds, one of the few spots in the region with enough water to sustain a small population of such species.
On this occasion we were actually on our way home. We left early to beat most of the heat of later in the day. I only drove though the park and didn’t actually stop. I guess that our visit was no longer than 2 minutes – if that. During that short time I saw the following species:
- White-winged Chough
- Australian Magpie
- Black-tailed Native-hen
- Pacific Black Duck
- Australian Wood Duck
- Australian Magpie Lark
- Crested Pigeon
- Red Rumped Parrot
- Red Wattlebird
- Little Raven
It is not a long list but it does contain two interesting sightings.
While Apostlebirds are quite common in the eastern parts of Australia, they are relatively rare in South Australia. They can only be seen in a handful of places. I have recorded them in the following locations:
- Taplan (SE of Loxton),
- Gladstone (mid-north of SA),
- Laura (just north of Gladstone)
- Stone Hut (just north of Laura)
- Appila (north of Gladstone)
- Peterborough (various locations around the town and district)
- Dawson Gorge (NE of Peterborough)
Several other locations have been reported by other birders in recent years. Peterborough is one of the more reliable spots for this species in South Australia. Over recent years I have seen the species in at least five spots around the town. You can read more about this species – go to the further reading section below.
On my recent visit to Victoria Park in Peterborough I saw about 5 Black-tailed Native-hens. I have seen this species on quite a few visits to this park. While the species is not rare it is unusual to see them in such a dry region as this. I suspect that these birds may actually be a resident breeding species. In some places, if the conditions are right, they can breed rapidly and within a short space of time number in the hundreds and even in the thousands. On previous visit to this park I have seen 20 – 50 birds.
- Apostlebirds in Peterborough
- Apostlebirds by the dozen
- Apostlebirds at Taplan in the Murray Mallee
- Apostlebirds in South Australia
Over recent days I have posted a few photos of some birds taken on a recent visit to Peterborough. On this visit we were visiting relatives for a few days. Peterborough is in the mid-north of South Australia. One of the spots I always like to check out is Victoria Park near the swimming pool and caravan park.
Many years ago the local council made a very pleasant park, including lawned picnic areas, barbecue facilities and an artificial lake. This water attracts quite a range of water-birds as well as providing drinking water for many of the local bush species such as pigeons, honeyeaters, ravens and magpies.
Today I thought I would share some random photos taken on this most recent visit.
A few days ago I wrote about a recent visit to Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia. During that visit I spent a short time birding in the Victoria Park, a delightful spot next to the local swimming pool and caravan park. Because of the artificial lake and trees planted in the park there is usually a good range of local birds, including a few water birds in and around the lake.
Included in this range of birds are a few introduced species, notably and large flock of Mallard ducks. I have shown several in today’s photos. In the photo below is a completely white duck, species unknown. If any of my readers can enlighten me I will label it correctly. It is obviously an introduced species, one of many ducks kept in captivity here in Australia. The closest I can come to a name is Pekin Duck. Any ideas, please?