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Thread: The Coorong To The Murray River Mouth SA - Part 1

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    Default The Coorong To The Murray River Mouth SA - Part 1

    Last year we spent 5 weeks traveling along SA’s Limestone Coast as far as Kingston SE. We were planning to go as far as Goolwa at the Mouth of the Murray River via The Coorong but ran out of time. There was simply too much to do & see. The Coorong deserves plenty of time to explore. This year we drove directly from Melbourne to Kingston SE via an inland route & spent 5 weeks traveling along the coast as far as Goolwa.

    After staying overnight at the excellent free RV Travelers Rest in Kingston SE we moved to The Granites 20kms north along The Coorong, a basic camp with no facilities nestled behind sand dunes overlooking a beautiful stretch of ocean beach. The Granites are the only rocks along a 130km long stretch of sandy beach. They looked very much like three beached whales coated in bird guano. LOL. We spent three nights at this location, we saw Crested & Caspian Terns& Cormorants along the beach. In the general area were Nankeen Kestrels, Australian Hobby, Wedge-tailed Eagles, a mixed flock of White-throated Needletails & Fork-tailed Swifts & our first ‘’new tick’’ for the trip, Elegant Parrot, such a great looking Neophema.

    A further 60kms north along the Coorong is Salt Creek which makes a great base to explore the central area of The Coorong National Park, Messent & Martin Washpool Conservation Parks. We stayed four nights in Adventurer’s Rest Campground adjacent to the Salt Creek Roadhouse which by the way makes the most incredibly tasty Coorong mullet burgers. LOL. On our first morning we explored along Loop Road where we were lucky enough to find a pair of Malleefowl working their nesting mound. There were also Brush Bronze-wing, Peaceful Dove, Singing, New Holland & Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters, White-browed Babbler, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, White-browed Scrubwren, Grey Shrike-thrush & Grey Currawong as well as many other species. Most of these birds were seen while we were walking the3km long Lakes Nature Trail. The vegetation was predominantly Mallee, Moonah & Samphire around the numerous salt lakes.

    Directly across the highway from the roadhouse is the beginning of the Ngrugie Ngoppum walk which follows Salt Creek to its outlet point into the Coorong Lagoon, crosses a causeway & then winds its way back with views of the opposite bank. We added a few more species to our list here, like Beautiful Firetail & White-fronted Chat. The creek itself had a variety of Duck species, White-faced Heron, Australasian Grebe & Lewin’s Rail. Just a 15minute drive north of Salt Creek is the Jack Point Pelican Observatory. The nesting birds on the large islands directly in front of the observatory would have numbered in the thousands, a great sight! Driving inland on the Salt Creek Road we parked our car next to a locked access gate into Martin Washpool CP, went through a stile & walked to the vast & drying Morella Basin, a large body of irrigation water. The number of birds was staggering. There were five species of Duck including Shelduck & the largest number of Shoveler that we’ve ever seen, the number of Red-capped Plovers was also amazing. The basin reminded us of the Western Sewage Treatment Plant back in Melbourne.

    We moved on another 60km north to Meningie situated on Lake Albert with access to The Coorong’s northern section. We did the Seven Mile Rd loop through Noonameena which provides great views of the Coorong’s Northern Lagoon & the Younghusband Peninsula. The birding along the lagoon foreshore was quite good with Fairy Tern, Pied Stilt, Red-capped Plover, Double-banded Plover & many hundreds of Red-necked Stint. Mark Point & Pelican Point, both good birding locations are within half an hour drive of Meningie. The rock platforms between these two points were very productive with all of the species previously mentioned plus Sharp-tailed Sandpiper & Common Greenshank. The heavy aroma of rotting Carp carcasses along some sections of the shoreline spoilt the ambience slightly! LOL. Along the rough gravel road we saw many Cape Barren Geese & in the sand dune depressions we flushed some very dull looking Neophema parrots that we suspected were Rock Parrots but failed to get an ID image of to confirm it. We don’t ‘’tick off’’ new species unless we get a proper look at them. While we were staying in the caravan park at Meningie we were ‘’blessed’’ by the presence of a 5ft long Brown Snake in the BBQ shelter right next to us, another photographic opportunity, though one we could have done without.

    We moved on to Narrung free RV camp near the vehicular ferry across The Narrows between Lake Albert & Lake Alexandrina for three nights. Malcolm Point on the opposite side to the campground is famous for having Australia’s only inland lighthouse. The power lines across the narrows had around 60 Whiskered Tern perched on them while the trees around the camping area had many Elegant Parrots feeding in them as well as Black-eared Cuckoo, Mistletoebird & Striated Pardalote . In the surrounding wetlands we saw Red-kneed Dotterel, Clamorous Reed-warbler, Golden-headed Cisticola, Swamp Harrier, Whistling Kite & Black-shouldered Kite.

    Cheers Keith & Judy

    Click image for larger version. 

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    .Our land abounds in Nature's gifts. Of beauty rich and rare.


    Life list total (seen by both of us) = 439 Latest addition Little Bronze-cuckoo 12-7-17 Byfield NP QLD.

  2. The following user says thank you to Keith & Judy Humphreys for their reply:

    Aravindhan Padmanabhan (19-03-2017)

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    Great read Keith.

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    Keith & Judy Humphreys (19-03-2017)

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    Thoroughly wonderful read, Keith and Judy! Sounds like you had the time of your lives

    While I would have loved to shoot snakes, spotting a brown would have had me on the edge the whole time! LOL

    Anyway, the photographs suit the narrative really well - another thought would be to intersperse the text with the photographs - hey, might be a good idea for your very own coffee table book!!!

    Congrats on ticking another bird off your list - the elegant parrot looks lovely!

    Thank you for sharing

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    Keith & Judy Humphreys (19-03-2017)

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    You two are making me jealous! I wanna go; I wanna go!!

    John

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    Keith & Judy Humphreys (19-03-2017)

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    Great report Keith and Judy. Thanks for the tips and reports; much appreciated. Wilson

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    Keith & Judy Humphreys (20-03-2017)

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    Great write up and photos from my neck of the woods. Very enjoyable read.

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    Keith & Judy Humphreys (21-03-2017)

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    Another great read - an area I'd love to spend some time in

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    Keith & Judy Humphreys (10-04-2017)

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    Fantastic guys! Hoping to visit that area one day!
    Cheers, Dave

    www.davidstowe.com.au WORKSHOPS

    Aus Life List IOC= 684 - Grey Honeyeater
    "So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21


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    You two must know Australia better than most. Magic read. I'll get down there one day.
    Don't take life too seriously, it never ends well.
    Bird species photographed in Australia: 329 Latest: Red-necked Avocet. Kianawah Road Wetlands. Hemmant. Qld. 04/June/2017.

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    Keith & Judy Humphreys (11-06-2017)

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    As always, a very entertaining and enjoyable read. Love the Malleefowl image!
    Cheers, John Daniels.

    Bird species in Aust. photographed since Oct. 2011: 491 Latest: Little Stint. Stockyard Point. Vic 26/6/2017

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    Keith & Judy Humphreys (20-06-2017)

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