Bowra Station is renowned by Aussie birders as a must do destination 14, 700 hectares with a good variety of habitats Bowra has recorded over 200 bird species along with over 60 species of reptile.
Situated just northwest of Cunnamulla in central southern Queensland, this station, which is now managed for conservation, extends from the flood plain of the Warrego River. Vegetation types include Poplar Box and Cypress woodlands, Coolabah and River Red Gum to tablelands and low rocky hills of Mulga woodland.
I decided to drive from Adelaide to Bowra as there were 3 target birds I still needed to find and photograph which occur there to work towards my quest - to see and photograph every bird in Australia.
So last week I left Adelaide & headed to Broken Hill. It was raining and continued to rain for 2 days straight dumping 58mm on Cunnamulla. To break up the journey I enjoyed a few hours birding in the saltbush on the outskirts of Broken Hill. Chirruping Wedgebills love this habitat and were in full voice, despite the rain.
I then headed to Bourke. Plenty of kangaroo’s and Emus around and as I got closer to Bourke the goat numbers also increased. From here Major Mitchell Cockatoo's started making an appearance - mostly soaking wet due to the non-stop rain!
Major Mitchell Cockatoo in the rain
Bourke to Cunnamulla was uneventful – still raining, so much so that I noticed a tortoise cross the road, which was a nice change from usual the goats!
Bowra's accommodation was fully booked so I stayed in Cunnamulla. No problem, only 9km to Bowra each morning and there was good birding along the way along with the opportunity to collect a coffee.
It stopped raining on day 3 and Bowra's new gravel 6km driveway allowed entry into the homestead but all the tracks were closed due to 58mm of rain so everywhere needed to be explored on foot for the next few days.
My first target bird was easy to find as it hopped towards my feet within a minute of parking at the Homestead. Spotted Bowerbird! TICK! An attractive bird, this one was busy looking for food and after looking at me and deciding I was boring it continued on its way not giving me another thought.
It was the stony country I was most interested in as it contained the other 2 bird species I needed to see, Hall’s Babbler and Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush but the main track was closed. So I hiked 15 km that afternoon looking to see what else I could find, sussing out the track conditions and photographing some nice birds.
Feral Pigs are still a problem
Giant Burrowing Cockroach are the world's heaviest cockroach and live for up to 10 yrs
Giant Burrowing Cockroach - this one was about 35mm long
Bowra billabong sunrise
Plum-headed Finch - one of my favourites!
Finally the main track opened so I was able to get to the stony country and my other 2 target birds.
After searching for a while I was given the heads up by another birder, Nicole that she had just seen the Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush further along the track so we headed there and sure enough it was calling and displaying for the female bird.
While photographing the 3 quail-thrush a family of Hall’s Babblers arrived noisily. Both species together in front of us we didn’t know which birds to photograph!
We experienced these birds for a good 15 minutes and then it was Hi Fives all round!
Female Splendid Fairywren
Bore drain near Bowra Homestead
The next few days were used to photograph species that I still needed images of and enjoying the birds around the waterholes..
Budgies were everywhere
Cockatiel are a stunning bird
Fairy Martin collecting mud for their nest building
The things you see in outback Australia...
Bowra Station Driveway
9 days, 3430km and 3 lifers. Worth every minute!