Monarto Conservation Park
Last Saturday we travelled the short distance from home to Monarto Conservation Park just west of Murray Bridge, South Australia. We took a picnic lunch to eat in the car park. After lunch and a cuppa we went for a walk through the park along the walking trail leading from the car park. This trail makes a one kilometre loop through several different habitats in the park. After about 45 minutes of gentle strolling the track leads one back to the car park.
The predominant habitat of this park is mallee. At one point alone the track one comes to a a small rise overlooking the western parts of the park. The view is one of a sea of mallee. There are small patches of casaurinas and large tracts of heath like vegetation. The heath type areas are brimming with small to medium sized plants, making the area like a natural botanic garden. Grevilleas, astrolomas, correas, acacias and many more kinds of native plants make walking through this park a true delight. I was able to take a few good photos; the real delight will come in a few months when many more plants will be in flower.
Birds of the Park
While it was tempting to only go along plant watching, something my wife does all the time, I also kept and eye and ear out for the bird life all around us. There were scattered clouds and a cool breeze so I would have expected a good list of birds. It was, however, a little disappointing with only a moderate list. Grey Currawongs, Australian Magpies, New Holland Honeyeaters and Red wattlebirds were quite apparent. I heard a Grey Shrike Thrush and saw several Mallee Ringneck Parrots. As we were about to drive off I saw and heard two Peaceful Doves in the trees near the car park.