Most of day 2 was spent heading north on the Calder Highway, passing through some of Victoria's oldest localities. The gold rush towns of Bendigo, Inglewood and Wedderburn were soon behind me and I began going through the wheat belt country - Charlton, Wycheproof and Ouyen.
The green hills and plains of Gippsland were well behind me now.
Hattah-Kulkyne National Park was coming up and I began to enter the mallee-scrub country. Many birdos had regaled me in the past with stories of Hattah, and when I began seeing Mallee-fowl warning signs on the roadside I decided I'd better at least call in and have a look.
A garrulous family of Apostlebirds accosted me as I pulled up in the car park. This was my first opportunity to photograph a 'non-Gippsland' bird.
The birds were enjoying picking off the squashed locusts from the duco of the ute. (For the next several days I was to encounter clouds of locusts as I traversed the Murray riverland country roads).
Other new species I encountered on my very brief walk at Hattah included Yellow Rosellas, Singing Honeyeaters and Red-capped Robins. No time for pictures though, I wanted to get on to Mildura for the next overnight stop.
Early next morning I headed west on the Sturt Highway toward Renmark. At Meringur North, simply a dirt cross road, I turned north and headed for Ned's Corner, a Trust For Nature property on a large bend in the Murray River.
One of my keenest observations for this whole trip was to be the different bird calls I was to hear and in this matter, for most of the time, I was completely out of my comfort zone.
A strident 'chack-a-chack' call from behind some Saltbush alerted me to a family of Chestnut-crowned Babblers and I watched them 'play' for some time.
After some more sightings of the delightful Red-capped Robin plus Red-rumped Parrots and Yellow Rosellas, I fought the dust and locusts back on to the highway and headed to Waikerie for the next overnight stop.
Next day - Gluepot!