While we were having lunch on the bank of Lake Hattah in north west Victoria earlier this year, I spotted these two Galahs indulging in a very public display of affection. Well – it was not all that public; the only observers were the two of us. I can only assume that these birds were a pair and this was part of their bonding ritual; they mate for life.
The area around the lakes in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park have large, old growth River Red Gums with many hollows. It certainly is a great place to see parrots like the Galahs. Other parrots species include
Sydney Trip June 2010
On our wanderings through Hattah-Kulkyne National Park I not only had my head held up looking for birds to photograph, I also looked around on the ground – well, below eye level, anyway – for any bushes and trees in flower. My wife spotted this beautiful example of an Atriplex plant (we’re not sure which species), a member of the saltbush family of plants.
It’s a very attractive plant, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Sydney Trip June 2010
On the last day of our trip home from visiting family in Sydney earlier this year we planned to spend a few hours in one of our favourite places – Hattah-Kulkyne National Park. This park is south of Mildura in far north west Victoria. The park has two predominant habitats: eucalypt mallee scrubland and large eucalypt riverine vegetation around the creeks, river and lakes. The park contains over a dozen ephemeral lakes which fill when the nearby River Murray is full, or in flood. In recent decades the lakes have been artificially allowed to fill.
On this visit we came in from the Mildura, or northern, end. We left the Calder Highway and followed the route of the old highway through the mallee section of the park (see photo above). When a section looked promising for birding, we stopped for morning tea and a spot of birding. (Go to Trevor’s Birding for details.)
On our recent holiday on the Yorke Peninsula we had lunch at Marion Bay, visited the visitor centre of the Innes National Park and then continued on driving through the park near Stenhouse Bay. We stopped many times to admire the scenery, take photos of landscapes and seascapes and check out the bird and plant life.
One species of bird virtually came to us. A small flock of 5 juvenile Emus wandered along the side of the road quite unconcerned that we were only metres away. They are certainly unafraid of vehicles passing by as this happens many times every day in parks like this. They just went about their business finding their lunch.
This group consisted of juveniles probably about 18 – 24 months old. The female Emu lays up to about a dozen eggs in a shallow nest on the ground. The male then incubates the eggs and looks after the young for up to 2 years after hatching. The birds we saw were over half grown and independent of the father, so I’m guessing they’d have to be at least 18 months old.
Just as we were leaving the camping grounds at Pondalowie Bay we came across a small mob of Western Grey Kangaroos right next to the road. Being in the Innes National Park this would be quite a normal sighting. In fact, this group was not at all perturbed by our car just a few metres away as they are quite used to vehicles moving through the park every day. During the summer months vehicles probably pass this way every few minutes.
Various forms of kangaroos and wallabies abound in rural Australian regions (pun intended). They are a hazard to fast moving vehicles on country roads, especially at night when they tend to come out to graze. I have experienced first hand the damage a ‘roo can do to a car with no protective bars. The damage is not only to the car; many hundreds, perhaps thousands of kangaroos and wallabies become road kill statistics every year. Sad but true.
As we drove back to our motel in the dusk that evening I slowed done. I didn’t want to add to those statistics.