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South Australia Bird Watching

Author: Carl from Pahrump (More Trip Reviews by Carl from Pahrump)
Date of Trip: February 2007

In 2006 and 2007 we spent 255 Days driving around Australia. We started in Darwin, drove south to Alice Springs, backtracked to Cairns, went down the East Coast to Rockhampton, cut over to Melbourne, went across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth, drove up the West Coast to Broome, and finished by crossing the Kimberely Region on our way back to Darwin -- 24,000 miles & 6 rental cars. Along the way we stayed in 56 cities and saw 693 bird species/subspecies.

This Trip Report covers the 13-days we spent bird watching in South Australia in February 2007.

We saw 114 bird species at 9 parks. The parks where we saw the most bird species were: Poltalloch Station = 54, Flinders Peninsula = 41, Port Lincoln NP = 36, Coffin Bay NP = 35, Coorong NP = 32, Lake Alexandrina = 32, Lake Albert = 21, Oyster Walk = 19 & Great Australian Bight = 18.

The cities where we saw the most bird species were: 3 days in Coffin Bay = 76, 8 days in Meningie = 61, & 2 days in Streaky Bay = 42.


Meningie - We stayed at the Poltalloch Station (http://www.poltalloch.com.au/ 35.490S 139.265E ). We were about 30 minutes west of the small town of Meningie on Lake Alexandrina about 2 hours East of Adelaide. This area is part of the vast wetland system created as the Murray River enters the Southern Ocean. We stayed the week in the Station Hand Cottage built in 1839 with a view of the lake.

If you put these coordinates into Google Earth, you can see the locations I am discussing. Typically, there will be lots of pictures as well.

Port Augusta -- We stayed at the Comfort Inn Augusta Westside (http://www.accommodationguide.com.au/nbsDetails.asp?sit=4&tid=1&sid=&rid=-1&aid=1&pid={36AF0A37-0C6B-40D8-B238-7C329498CE88}&eAddr=travel.enquiries@rac.com.au&eSbj=Book%20with%20RAC). Nice place to stay but we didn't see any birds.

Coffin Bay - We stayed at the Almonta Holiday Apartments (http://www.almonta.epc.net.au/ 34.621S 135.478E). We have a great view of Coffin Bay, the expansive area of oyster traps, and a direct view of the sunsets. The Oyster Walk birding trail is just across the road from the units.

Streaky Bay -- We stayed at the Headland House B&B (www.accommodationguide.com.au/nbsDetails.asp?sit=5&tid=1&sid=&rid=-1&aid=1&pid={419B1F15-C465-45BA-8472-64160A03B56D}&eAddr=&eSbj 32.792S 134.219E). The house is nicely furnished with a lovely view of the ocean.

Highlights of the Region:

Getting a personal tour of a sheep station and the sheep-shearing shed.

Getting AAA Australia to unlock our car free with our Ohio AAA card. Seeing 5 pairs of wild Emus at Coorong NP; plus some Red-capped Plovers.

Seeing a Shy Heathwren and a pair of Blue-breasted Fairywrens at the Arno Bay Mangrove Boardwalk.

Seeing hundreds of Red Wattlebirds fly over in waves at Port Lincoln NP.

Sand dune surfing at Coffin Bay NP.

Watching the sun appear to set in the East at Streaky Bay.

Seeing vast salt-flats from the car, and what looked like Salt Icebergs floating on Lake MacDonnald on a day when the temp was 102; plus five species of shore birds including the Curlew Sandpiper.

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