Archive for May, 2011

Wool Bay, Yorke Peninsula

Port Giles grain silos, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

On our short holiday on Yorke Peninsula last week we diverted from the main route to Edithburgh, travelling though the small coastal settlement of Wool Bay. This small town has a few homes and holiday units. It also boasts a good jetty (see photos below) which is great for fishing. Just south of Wool Bay is Port Giles with its huge grain silos and jetty reaching out into deeper water.

Port Giles is just a grain port with no town or houses. This part of the peninsula is an excellent grain growing area and this port is one of the main shipping ports for grain – mostly wheat. As we drove along the coast road we could see four ships anchored in the bay. When we left four days later there were six ships riding at anchor. When I arrived home I checked the schedule of arrivals and departures and, as I write this, one was loading and the others would load in the coming two weeks. It’s a busy port.

Wool Bay jetty (foreground) and Port Giles jetty (background)

Wool Bay and Port Giles, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

Birds near the Barossa Reservoir, South Austalia

Australian Magpie, Barossa Reservoir, South Australia

On our short holiday on Yorke Peninsula last week we stopped briefly at the Barossa Reservoir for lunch. We had enough time for me to take a few photos of the dam and some of the birds seen in the picnic grounds and on the reservoir. I probably heard far more birds than I saw, and certainly didn’t have time to search out more birds.

The Australian Magpie in the photo above sat in the tree above us and sang to us but we didn’t give it a treat from our lunch as it probably expected. The Rock Dove in the photo below was one of several inhabiting the installation halfway around the dam wall. The last photo shows a large group of Eurasian Coots feeding in the shallows of the reservoir near where we had lunch. For a more comprehensive list of birds seen, go to Trevor’s Birding.

Rock Dove, Barossa Reservoir, South Australia

Eurasian Coot, Barossa Reservoir, South Australia

The Whispering Wall, Barossa Reservoir, South Australia

Whispering Wall at the Barossa Reservoir in South Australia

On our way to the Yorke Peninsula during our holiday last week we stopped for lunch in the picnic area of the Barossa Reservoir. This dam is between the towns of Williamstown and Gawler in the Barossa Valley wine region. This is a delightful spot to picnic and very popular with tourists and locals alike.

The dam wall was constructed between 1899 and 1902 in the shape of a parabola. After construction it was discovered that the dam had a unique acoustic effect, leading to its common name of “The Whispering Wall.” A visitor can stand at one side of the dam, speak softly towards the wall and can be heard quite clearly across the other side, about 140 metres away.

Barossa Reservoir in South Australia

Whispering Wall at the Barossa Reservoir in South Australia

Barossa Reservoir in South Australia

A short holiday on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

Penguin Point, Marion Bay, South Australia

Last weekend my wife and I had the opportunity to have a short holiday on Yorke Peninsula here in South Australia. We stayed in a holiday unit in Edithburgh, a popular seaside town near the southern end of the peninsula. It had been quite a few years since our last visit so we eagerly anticipated seeing the rugged coastal scenery. I was looking forward to doing some birding and my wife was keen to reacquaint herself with the native flora of the region.

Sadly the weather conspired against us with bitterly cold wild gale force winds, scudding showers and overcast skies making birding and photography a challenge. Undeterred we soldiered on, having made the booking of the unit. Despite the restrictions caused by the weather we still had a great time, I saw a few good birds and my wife got all excited about the plants and flowers she was seeing. Over the coming few days I  will share some of our sightings and the photos I took.

By the way, the caption on the photograph above was taken at Penguin Point at Marion Bay. I didn’t see any penguins, though Little Penguins have been recorded in the area.

Historic elephant house at Adelaide Zoo

Historic Elephant House, Adelaide Zoo

The beautiful old 19th century building shown above used to house the elephants at Adelaide Zoo. The zoo no longer houses elephants here and it has been converted into an historic interpretive centre (see photo below).

I can remember going for a ride on an elephant at the Adelaide Zoo when I was a child (more than 50 years ago). The last elephant held in this zoo’s animal collection died at the Monarto Zoo section a few years ago. While neither section of the zoo currently holds any elephants, I understand there are plans to re-introduce some to Monarto Zoo in the next few years.

Historic Elephant House, Adelaide Zoo