Willandra NP – camping and accommodated

Fri 25 March 2016 12:00am

Kathy Walter & John Goldie

I’ve shore at Burrabogie, and I’ve shore at Toganmain,
I’ve shore at Big Willandra and upon the old Coleraine…
Like ‘Flash Jack from Gundagai’ we are about to explore Big Willandra Station! While this trip focuses on birdwatching in the wetland, woodlands, saltbush plains and open grasslands, Willandra has a rich history with plenty to interest people from the early wool industry and station life in the early 1900s.
There is a campground as well as accommodation in the shearers’ quarters and Willandra cottage. The campground doesn’t take bookings. If you want accommodation, make your own bookings through the Griffith National Parks office on (02) 6966 8100.
Possible highlights include: Inland Dotterel, Banded Lapwing, Ground Cuckooshrike, Black Falcon and Barn Owl.
• The road into Willandra can quickly become impassable during wet weather. If they get rain before the trip there is a chance we will need to relocate or cancel.
• Shops and service stations may well be closed on Good Friday and fruit and vegetables can’t be carried from Canberra into the fruit-fly restriction zone.
Please book a place on this outing with Kathy Walter or John Goldie on 6241 7639 or email walter.goldie@gmail.com. The trip will be restricted to 20 participants and filled on a first reply basis. More detailed information will be provided to participants.

Post event report

Another excellent trip organised by Kathy Walter and John Goldie!

The highlight of the weekend was the entertainment that they had organised for the Saturday night. The headline act of Flash Kath and the Grey Falcons (Nugget Goldie, SuePer Woman, McGuiness Magee and Glowing Neon Electric Green) lived up to expectations. They were ably supported by the acts of Dianne and Stewart Deans, Margaret Strong, Terry Bell and that well know crooner David Cook. The evening entertainment was rounded out with a rat shearing demonstration by Martyn Moffatt and rat master Ethel Luff. Ratty is still in a state of shock and mortification.

On the Sunday evening we had poetry courtesy of Rae Lister and the brief appearance of Flash Jack Luff.

But it was not all fun and frivolity. There was the serious business of bird watching. The birding highlights included a Square-tailed Kite, a pair of Banded Lapwings, Orange Chats (on two occasions), a Black Falcon, a flock of Ground Cuckoo-shrikes, a Blue-winged Parrot and a Spotted Bowerbird.

The lagoon was half-full and there was a reasonable representation of waterbirds. The night birds were also evident: a Southern Boobook was found at the shearing shed, a pair of Tawny Frogmouths paid us a visit at dusk at the campsite, an Australian Owlet-nightjar perched out in the open, a Spotted Nightjar was briefly spotlighted and a Barn Owl screeched late one night.

On the Sunday trip to the north of the park we visited some mallee. The only mallee specialist we could find was the White-fronted Honeyeater; however the trip was very productive and some very nice birds were seen in the mallee and surrounding woodlands, including quite a number of the birds mentioned above.

The list of birds for the National Park totalled 85 with an additional 13 being seen on the Sunday jaunt outside the Park, giving a total of 98 species. If we add the Inland Dotterels seen by Dianne and Stewart Deans as they exited the Park and the immature White-bellied Sea-Eagle similarly seen by John and Kathy we made the grand total of 100.

Once again, thank you Kathy and John.

Noel Luff

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