Watch out darter

Australian Darter

Australian Darter

Yesterday I took my wife on a drive through the countryside here in South Australia. We had been to Adelaide for an early morning medical appointment so we decided to take an alternative route home and have lunch at Mannum which is a half hour drive north of our home in Murray Bridge. We drove from Burnside to Gumeracha via the Gorge Road, following the picturesque Torrens River Valley.

We stopped at the Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha for a cup of tea and some lovely freshly baked scones. After our sojourn there we continued on through Birdwood and Tungkillo, heading for Mannum and lunch.

As we were coming down the hill into the small township of Palmer I suddenly had to brake and swerve to miss an Australian Darter sitting in the middle of the lane we were travelling in. I was also conscious of the car close behind me as well. Both of us missed the bird and on checking the rear view mirror I was relieved to see the bird flying off.

Darters are usually seen in or very near water. What on earth was it doing sitting in the middle of a road? This was about 16 km (10 miles) west of the river, but I know there are storage dams on nearby farms in this district. It’s just that I’ve never seen one on a road before.

Of course I didn’t have time to take a photo and there was no safe stopping area either. Besides, this was the first trip I had taken in many years where I totally forgot to take my camera.

The photo above was taken several years ago on the banks of the Murray River which flows through my home town of Murray Bridge in South Australia.


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