Thursday, March 3, 2011

The mighty Murray

Yesterday I had a day off,and we decided to head to the Riverland and take a look at the River Murray. This is the longest river in Australia, and starts its journey way up in Queensland, flowing through New South Wales and Victoria before it gets to the Southern Ocean near Goolwa in South Australia. With a succession of floods and cyclones, the Murray is now in flood in SA too. First stop was Brookfield Conservation Park, where I had been tipped off about a very photogenic Owlet-Nightjar. (Thanks Chris) Armed with directions, I soon found the tree, and as I approached, whoosh!! the bird flew out, did a 180 degree turn and disappeared over the next bush. I searched for an hour or so, but never found it again!! I did manage a couple of shots of Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Chestnut-crowned Babblers, and a Mallee Ringneck. At Blanchetown we got our first view of the river. I have never seen the river as full as this. Next was Banrock Station, a winery and wetland nature reserve. The visitor centre has a lovely restaurant, and also a wine tasting area. The view shows the extent of the flooding as usually the water is way off in the distance (if you can see any at all!). The loop trail and bird hides are under a metre (3 feet) of water at the moment, but there is a short walk down to the waters edge where they have erected a couple of temporary viewing platforms. There are plenty of black Swans on the water. I spotted this White-winged Chough in a tree, and was surprised when he didn't fly off, only to find his partner sitting on a nest on the next branch. I recently had the opportunity to hold one of these impressive nests. They are about 600mm (2 feet) across and weigh about 2Kg (4.5 lb). Further along I found a group of Rainbow Bee-eaters and finally a young Black-faced Cuckooshrike.


  1. Unlucky Tony! The Owlet-nightjar there normally dosen't fly too far! oh well, there's always next time! He seems to always be there!

  2. A pity about the owlet-nightjar but you did bag a reasonable number of nice birds. The Mallee ringnecks, like most parrots, are not known for sitting still to have their photos take, so you did well there.
    I did not realise the bee-eathers were so lose to us, so it is not at all extraordinary to have seen a pair here in the eastern foothills.

  3. Espetacular,extraordinário
    agradeço a oportunidade de conhecer tantas maravilhas...
    um abraço

  4. Hi Tony shame about the Owlet Nightjar still sure you will be lucky next time.
    Lovely set of images you do have some wonderful wildlife down there.
    Also many thanks for your kind comments

  5. Enjoyed several of your posts from spiders to rainbows. Have a great weekend