Days 5-7: 9th to 12th September
Our trusty tour guide came good again! We spent 3 nights among River Red Gums hundreds of years old, flanked by rocky cliffs millions of years old, watching new life emerging all around – flowers and insects were beginning to appear, and it seemed that every bird was busily nesting.
So who is this tour guide? Finding Australian Birds, or FAB among friends. We love this book! It is guiding us as we travel west, just as it guided us across the Top End in 2015.
“Part of the southern Flinders Ranges, and offering spectacular scenery, Mount Remarkable National Park (16 000 ha) is within easy reach Adelaide. There is an intriguing mix of flora and fauna, ranging from those adapted to the wetter southern regions of South Australia through to species more typical of the arid north. At last count, 124 bird species had been recorded in the park.” (FAB, page 358)
An easy decision for us!
The River Red Gums here are the most ancient I’ve ever seen. Apparently a far-sighted land owner protected them from the fate that ‘befell’ most other trees in the region. They show just how resilient this species is. Some are hollowed by fire, yet remain healthy and growing. And they are huge!
As FAB mentioned, the birds here are special because of the mix. Some are very familiar to us, such as the Rufous Whistler and Grey Butcherbird
Others are more inland birds, such as the White-plumed Honeyeater and White-browed Babbler.
We took the short drive south to Telowie Gorge Conservation Park late one afternoon, again following a tip in FAB. It was well worth the drive!
Oh, did I mention that back at camp we found some water in the creek?
An hour later Paul had to drag me away from stalking dragonflies!
There were reptiles too, including this wonderful ‘fat-tailed gecko’.
Bees! I confess, my growing obsession with native bees is rivalling my dragonfly fixation. My birthday gift from Paul, wrapped and untouchable for another couple of weeks, is the newly-published field guide to Australia’s native bees. That’s my excuse for grabbing shots of every bee I see.
I spotted just this one native, among hundreds of European Honey Bees. Species tbc … sometime after my birthday!