Monday, January 25, 2010
Gluepot - Part 1
Gluepot is about a three hour drive from home. However, if I am in "birding mode" all reference to times are null and void. I hadn't even left my suburb before I made my first stop. This roadside pool rarely has any water, but today had a Great Egret and a couple of Australian White Ibis. To get to the reserve, I had to cross Goyder's Line, and also cross the River Murray twice . In 1865 Goyder suggested that agriculture would be marginal above this line, and he has been proved right many times over. The bridge at Blanchetown has great views of the Murray, and also usually has a few birds as well. This wing-tagged Pelican circled overhead whilst Great Cormorants flew over the bridge (never under it!). In the big River Red Gums nearby were a couple of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. The second crossing is by cable ferry, this one is called Heron. Access to Gluepot is 50Km (30 Miles) along a sandy track. The reserve is predominantly old growth Mallee, now a very rare habitat in Australia. Many endanged bird species require Mallee that has not been burnt for 50 years. Mallee is very prone to bushfires, and in 2008 a huge area, including part of Gluepot, was burned following lightning strikes on an adjacent property. After putting up my tent, I went for a walk in the area behind the campsite, This is Mallee with Saltbush understorey. As I walked through, I came across small flocks of birds including Varied Sitella (related to Nuthatches) and Brown-headed Honeyeaters. Feeding overhead were Rainbow Bee-eaters and mixed groups of woodswallows. This one is a Masked Woodswallow. I saw numerous (unidentified) small lizards on this walk. The day finished with a lovely sunset.