Kerri-Lee Harris

Mt Remarkable, SA

Kerri-Lee Harris
Mt Remarkable, SA

Days 5-7: 9th to 12th September
(1750km)

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!

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View from our campsite

View from our campsite

Wonderful campsite … hot showers, no power, no internet … and (nearly) no neighbours.

Wonderful campsite … hot showers, no power, no internet … and (nearly) no neighbours.

… and no drones! Perfect!!

… and no drones! Perfect!!

For two out of three nights, our only neighbour

For two out of three nights, our only neighbour

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!

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That’s our little Cub camper to the left of the picture

That’s our little Cub camper to the left of the picture

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

Rufous Whistler - male

Rufous Whistler - male

Grey Butcherbird

Grey Butcherbird

Others are more inland birds, such as the White-plumed Honeyeater and White-browed Babbler.

White-browed Babbler

White-browed Babbler

Platycercus elegans subadelaidae ….  a subspecies found only here and further north along the Flinders Ranges.

Platycercus elegans subadelaidae …. a subspecies found only here and further north along the Flinders Ranges.

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!

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Oh, did I mention that back at camp we found some water in the creek?

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An hour later Paul had to drag me away from stalking dragonflies!

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There were reptiles too, including this wonderful ‘fat-tailed gecko’.

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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!