Monday, October 10, 2011

The Big O Australia's biggest Plastic The Barham OSTRICHES

Last Friday afternoon about 4.45pm I realized the weekend had arrived and I had no plans. I was in desperate need of a Lifer but the question was “where can I get one in a weekend”? There are none I can get around Adelaide now so I knew it was going to require a lot of driving.

It took me about 15 seconds to realize it was time to make the pilgrimage to Barham NSW to get The Ostriches. Yes, ok, I cam hear you from here, I KNOW they are plastics but hey, I was desperate ok….

No time for research so I flicked a desperate email to my friends Vik and Carl requesting vital info and thankfully my loyal friends who are used to me being so disorganised and a bit crazy didn't even blink as they came through obligingly with the required GPS co-ords – these duly printed I was ready….

I rushed home from work, scoffed a meal whilst packing my camera, bins, gps, sleeping bag, jacket, toothbrush and a pair of undies and I was on the road, leaving Adelaide at 6.30pm.

After sleeping in the mallee I arrived at  Lashbrook Rd in NSW about 7.30am Saturday morning. It was raining, foggy and I was a bit concerned. I needn’t have been as I was face to beak with my first Ostrich within 10 seconds of arriving! It was only about 100m from the turn off and close to the fence. I had to get out of the car to get a decent photo (well as decent as it could be in poor light, fog and rain) which spooked it but I got a few photos before it ran to the back of the field.

After a short drive along the road I found 5 other birds, some at the back of the field near trees, a few at the drain and a few in the next field near a large sprinkler.

After about 30 minutes the weather cleared and I was serenaded by a Brown Songlark.

I had planned to spend the day looking for these birds so was suddenly at a loss as to where to go. I had not researched the area, had no map and did not have my trusty copy of T & T to thumb through so decided to head to Barmah State Park and Gulpa Creek as I figured they would be close by. Typing the location into my trusty VMS I was back on the road being told off by an electronic voice every time I took a wrong turn.

I spent the rest of Saturday & part of Sunday sliding around on dry weather only roads in the rain and thoroughly enjoying myself around Gulpa Creek.

Sacred Kinfisher

Nankeen Night-heron

Little Grassbird

Azure Kingfisher

The Long-billed Corellas and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are an amazing sight feeding in their hundreds along the roadsides.

The Reedbed Birdhide at Gulpa Creek is excellent and I spent a few hours enjoying a pair of Great-crested Grebes who simply refused to come close enough for photos. Sadly not one Bittern was heard.

Sunday it was raining for most of the morning so gave up and started heading back to Adelaide. I stopped for a while at Kerang Lakes, Gunbower Island and Nyall State Park. 

Mistletoebird at Nyah State Forest

Purple Swamphens were everywhere at Kerang Lakes

I was so tired that it was getting dangerous driving in that condition so I booked into a Motel and slept for 12 hours.

A crazy weekend but excellent fun and I really enjoyed seeing Austalia’s biggest plastic!!

Some plastics are simply worth driving 1650km for!!