We were keen to visit far western Queensland after a couple of years of good rain and were not disappointed. Wildflowers and birdlife were in abundance, in sharp contrast to conditions seen during various work-related visits to the region during recent drought-affected years. The numbers of Pied Honeyeater (above) seen at various sites were testament to the good times.
Birding highlights in this section of the trip included Pied Honeyeater, Black Honeyeater, Chesnut-breasted Quail-Thrush, Hall's Babbler, Redthroat, Red-browed Pardalote, Pink Cockatoo and nesting Collared Sparrhowhawk.
Our first camp was at Walla Creek behind the town of Bollon. Here, as everywhere during our 12-day sojourn through the west, woodswallows were in abundance. Huge flocks of White-browed and Masked Woodswallows were everywhere.
Rufous (Nankeen) Night-Herons were plentiful along the creek.
Australian Ringneck was probably the most numerous parrot seen during our trip.
Walla Creek, like most of the watercourses we encountered, was full to the brim. These creeks and rivers were largely dry during the drought.
Eastern Grey Kangaroos and other macropods were in abundance. This one was in the company of a Brolga at Walla Creek.
A pair of Collared Sparrow-hawks were building a nest above our camp-site. This is the larger female.
A male Red-capped Robin in the mulga behind Bollon township.
A little west of Bollon on the road to Cunnamulla, this Crested Bellbird performed nicely.
We headed north-west of Cunnamulla a short distance to Bowra, a former sheep station purchased for conservation purposes by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and now run by Birds Queensland. It is a superb site, nicely set up for a top birding and camping experience. We were to spend four pleasant evenings here, mostly birding on various roads through the property. This male Emu and its chicks crossed the road as we entered Bowra. Emus were plentiful, with numerous broods of chicks seen.
A pair of Black-tailed Native-hens were at the bore overflow at Bowra.
Our camp beside the bore overflow.
A Red-kneed Dotterel was present at the bore.
A party of Chesnut-crowned Babblers were often about the camp. This species was the most common babbler encountered west of Cunnamulla during our trip.
Rufous Songlarks were everywhere, singing vigorously.
Red Kangaroos were abundant. They gradually became more numerous than Eastern Grey Kangaroos the further west we headed. Around Bollon, the ratio of Eastern Grey to Red was about 7:1. In the space of a couple of hundred kilometres, this ratio was reversed by the time we got to Bowra.
Pink Cockatoo is always a pleasure to behold. Small numbers were encountered at Bowra.
Brown Treecreeper and Spotted Bowerbirds were common birds about the camp at Bowra.
It's always a good sign of the times when Black Honeyeaters are about. They were all over the place at Bowra, with many males performing display flights; they seemed to be calling everywhere, even around the camp.
Male Black Honeyeater.
Chesnut-rumped Thornbill was one of the commoner small passerines in the mulga.
|Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo|
Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo was seen occasionally.
Chesnut-breasted Quail-Thrush is one of the specialties of south-west Queensland. This male bird showed nicely at the so-called Stony Ridge at Bowra.
The Chesnut-breasted Quail-Thrush at Bowra.
Blue-bonnet was one of the scarcer parrots seen.
Beautiful desert scenery at Bowra, with wildflowers everywhere.
A male Red-rumped Parrot. These birds were plentiful about the bore drains.
A Southern Whiteface showed nicely roadside.
A male White-winged Fairy-wren.
Red-browed Pardalotes were fairly common.
Black-faced Woodswallows were plentiful.
Hall's Babbler is another south-west Queensland specialty. We found a party in thick mulga near a stony ridge.
The main bore drain overflow which the camping area at Bowra overlooks. There is a constant procession of birds coming in to drink here, including quite a large flock of Plum-headed Finches.
Another sign of the good times - Budgerigars in profusion.
We found Pied Honeyeaters every day at Bowra and they were also plentiful later at Currawinya National Park.
A male Pied Honeyeater.
A male Splended Fairy-wren - an aptly named species.
Redthroat is always elusive and as usual, proved to be camera-shy. This was the best I could manage.