Bird Watching in South Australia

The Murray and the Mallee

The Murray River winds its way through eastern South Australia and is a life-line for the state.  One of the most rewarding ways to bird watch along its length is to hire a houseboat.  Meander the waters of the river in comfort, and stop occasionally to walk along the shores.  The bird species will vary from Goolwa to Renmark, but you will always be surprised by the waterbirds and the woodland birds which reside along this mighty river.

 

Gluepot Reserve

Brookfield and Swan Reach Conservation Parks

Upper Reaches - Blanchetown to Renmark

Danggali Conservation Park

Billiatt and Peebinga Conservation Parks

 

    Gluepot Reserve

Gluepot Reserve is a very special place in South Australia for bird watchers.  Situated around 60 kilometres north of Waikerie, Gluepot has been set aside as one of the last strongholds for a number of threatened bird species, but in particular for the preservation of the Black-eared Miner.  Birds Australia purchased the property in 1997 and it has since been included as a vital part of the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve in the Murray region.  Gluepot encompasses one of the largest areas of intact mallee in Australia, and also has some of the country's oldest unburnt mallee woodland.  There has been a great deal of work done by Birds Australia and volunteer workers to make a visit to the reserve enjoyable for lovers of nature.

Please check the official Gluepot web site for precise details on how to reach Gluepot.  On the web site you can also find a map of the park, its walking trails and camping areas.  There is an excellent visitor centre located at the old homestead area, where you can purchase Gluepot memorabilia and also pick up detailed walking trail pamphlets. 

There are three campgrounds within the park boundary which have been situated in the shade of large mallee trees.  Toilets are provided, and the sites are numbered and well laid out.  The managers have even allowed for vehicles towing camper-trailers or caravans, by providing 'drive-through' sites in each campground.  Visitors must bring their own water and supplies into the reserve, and take rubbish out with them.  Only gas fires are allowed in the camping area.

Good roads make access to all corners of the reserve easy for all types of vehicle, and the walking trails are clearly marked and well signed.  Walks start at short strolls of 600 metres to long treks through the mallee scrub.  It is advisable to visit during the cooler months of the year, since summer in the mallee region can be extremely hot.  Another feature of the park are the bird hides which have been erected in a number of strategic positions.  The hides overlook small, raised watering troughs where you may be lucky enough to see a special bird coming in for a drink.

Gluepot Visitors Centre

Mallee Country

Gluepot track

Bird Hide

Malleefowl Mound

Whistler Trail

 

Gluepot Reserve is a wonderful place for bird watchers.  It is unique in being the only place of its kind in Australia.. set up mainly for those of us who love to wander slowly, binoculars in hand, hunting for a glimpse of something special.

Malleefowl Collared Sparrowhawk Brown Goshawk
Pink Cockatoo Cockatiel Budgerigar
Regent Parrot Blue-winged Parrot Elegant Parrot
Scarlet-chested Parrot Spotted Nightjar Red-backed Kingfisher
Splendid Fairy-wren White-winged Fairy-wren Striated Grass-wren
Spotted Pardalote Shy Heathwren Redthroat
Striped Honeyeater Yellow-throated Miner Black-eared Miner
Chestnut-crowned Babbler Varied Sittella Crested Bellbird
Red-lored Whistler Gilbert's Whistler White-winged Triller
Diamond Firetail Zebra Finch Little Grassbird
Southern Scrub-robin Hooded Robin Red-capped Robin

 

    Brookfield and Swan Reach Conservation Parks

Brookfield Conservation Park is situated just to the west of Blanchetown, close to the River Murray.  The park was originally set aside to preserve the vulnerable southern hairy-nosed wombat and these animals can be observed emerging from their burrows at sunset.  The bird life can be extraordinary.  The species in the park varies greatly with the seasons, but a day here will always be rewarding.  

Swan Reach Conservation Park is situated on the south side of the road between Swan Reach and Sedan, opposite the sign for access to Yookamurra Sanctuary.  Many species found here are also found in Brookfield, although the park is more heavily forested.  You are guaranteed to see a wide variety of honeyeaters, thornbills and often many woodswallow species.

 

Emu

Hooded Robin

Splendid Fairy-wren

Red-backed Kingfisher

Gilbert’s Whistler

White-winged Fairy-wren

Cockatiel

Crested Bellbird

Crimson Chat

Southern Scrub-robin

White-fronted Honeyeater

Restless Flycatcher

Brown Falcon

White-winged Triller

Redthroat

Rainbow Bee-eater

Chestnut Quail-thrush

Zebra Finch

Mallee Ringneck

White-browed Babbler

White-winged Chough

Southern Whiteface

Brown Treecreeper

Jacky Winter

Mulga Parrot

Chestnut-crowned Babbler

Grey Butcherbird

Grey-fronted Honeyeater

White-fronted Chat

Red-capped Robin

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    Murray River Region – Blanchetown to Renmark

The banks of the River Murray offer a haven for birds. There are wonderful river red gums lining the river, mingled with other native species.  A list is provided here of some species which may be observed in the upper reaches of the river.

Emu

Great Crested Grebe

Little Grebe

Great Egret

Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Darter

Pied Cormorant

Rufous Night Heron

Whistling Kite

Peregrine Falcon

Little Eagle

Red-kneed Dotterel

Black-fronted Plover

Regent Parrot

Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo

Caspian Tern

Whiskered Tern

Peaceful Dove

Mallee Ringneck

Yellow Rosella

Tawny Frogmouth

Southern Boobook Owl

Sacred Kingfisher

Rainbow Bee-eater

Grey Shrike-thrush

White-browned Babbler

Clamorous Reed Warbler

Variegated Fairy-wren

Superb Fairy-wren

Brown Treecreeper

Little Friarbird

Zebra Finch

Red-browed Firetail

Apostlebird

White-winged Chough

Pied Butcherbird

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    Danggali Conservation Park

The Bookmark Biosphere Reserve situated around the Murray River near Renmark, includes Danggali Conservation Park. The park is situated north of Renmark, covering a large tract of land. It is remote, but does offer a basic camping area. Unfortunately there are few walking tracks, but some of the species can be readily observed from the road.  

Pink Cockatoo

Mallee Ringneck

Blue Bonnet

Pallid Cuckoo

Rainbow Bee-eater

Red-capped Robin

Rufous Whistler

Restless Flycatcher

Crested Bellbird

Chestnut-crowned Babbler

Yellow-plumed Honeyeater

White-fronted H/E

Brown Treecreeper

Inland Thornbill

Splendid Wren

 

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    Billiatt and Peebinga Conservation Parks

 

The Mallee region in South Australia is generally in the far east of the state, roughly between Lameroo and Renmark.  There are a number of excellent parks to explore and the bird life is usually prolific.

 

Pink Cockatoo

Mulga Parrot

Blue Bonnet

Malleefowl

Rainbow Bee-eater

Red-capped Robin

Purple-crowned Lorikeet

Restless Flycatcher

Crested Bellbird

Chestnut-crowned Babbler

Striped Honeyeater

Western Whipbird

Red-lored Whistler

Gilbert's Whistler

Splendid Wren

 

    Other Parks along the Murray

Pooginook Conservation Park

Murray River National Park 

Katarapko Murray River National Park

Moorook Game Reserve

 

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