Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gluepot Diary #3

Neds becomes Banrock

On Monday morning, Jo and I met up in Mildura and headed west along the Sturt Highway. Our plan was to turn off about halfway to Renmark and check out Ned’s Corner for a few hours. A large ‘road closed due to flooding’ sign put an end to that plan. After a quick roadside discussion we pressed on and called in to Banrock Station for a late lunch.

On the last two occasions that I’ve visited the wetlands here they were mostly dry but we all know what has happened since. On the track down the escarpment we were welcomed by one of the local reptiles. Since it doesn’t have feathers I’m not too sure of its identity but I’m going for a Central Bearded Dragon.

It was nice to see quite a large colony of Black-tailed Native Hens on the edge of the first lagoon. I think they are only very occasional visitors to Gippsland.

We were warned of some recent sightings of large snakes in the area and we were able to confirm those sightings as a LARGE brown one slipped off into the scrub. I was being pretty cautious as I worked my way closer to a nearby tree that was the lookout perch for a Sacred Kingfisher.

Once on to the board walk, the cacophony of reed warbler calls and the mournful whistle of the Little Grassbird took over. The reed beds were very popular with theses little birds. We spent some time scanning the edges of the reeds for a glimpse of the grassbird and Jo suddenly spotted another skulking little bird of the reeds, a Baillon’s Crake. It’s always been a challenge for me to get a decent picture of a Baillons. The challenge remains!

That afternoon, the boardwalk was pretty well deserted, so a local Gould’s Monitor decided to use it for ready access to his next port of call. Once he sensed us he took to the water very readily and swam to a nearby tree to wait for us to pass.

Our camp for the night was the Waikerie Caravan Park where we caught up with Alwyn shortly after we pulled in. It was cuppa and a chat time while the camera and laptop batteries were on their chargers.  

… to be continued.

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