Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Around Oz Part 38 - Wilcannia to Brewarrina, the Western Plains of NSW

Blue Bonnet
Following our visit to Broken Hill (see previous post) we headed east through Wilcannia to Emmdale, a roadhouse with an area for camping behind it, for a two-night stay.  We had planned to head north from Wilcannia to camp in the Pardoo-Darling National Park but didn’t think it was worthwhile doing the 100km round trip on dirt roads. Emmdale is on the edge of the park, with park tracks across the road from the roadhouse.

Emmdale Roadhouse - Time to Relax

Emmdale - Sunset over the mulga.
We met our friend Kathy, who drove from Newcastle to join us for the five days we planned to spend in the Darling River region national parks.  Like the rest of our trip - with the conspicuous exception of the Winton-Longreach area - the inland scrub here was looking good with plenty of ground vegetation and flowering shrubs.

Emu - in abundance around here
About Emmdale we saw large numbers of Emu, Red Kangaroo and Western Grey Kangaroo, along with unusually good numbers of Blue Bonnets. We had a lively evening in the roadhouse bar that evening.

For our only full day here, it rained continuously, and often heavily; this was the first time on the trip that we were confined to our camper trailer for the day by rain. Brief forays about during rain spells turned up Chesnut-rumped Thornbill and Mulga Parrot but not much else; Yellow-throated Miner, Apostlebird and White-winged Chough were common.

Emmdale - Joys of camping in the rain
We headed east to Cobar, seeing Spotted Bowerbird there while we lunched.

Spotted Bowerbird
We had planned to camp in Gundabooka National Park for a three-night stay but the rains closed all roads, so we threw darts at a map and ended up at the Four Mile Campground, just outside Brewarrina. We were on the banks of the Barwon River here, so very nice, and free camping. Large flocks of Red-tailed Black Cockatoo were along the river.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo 

Barwon River - from our camp near Brewarrina
Birds on the floodplains and in surrounding scrubs included Red-rumped Parrot, Brown Treeecreeper, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Restless Flycatcher, White-winged Triller and 4 species of woodswallow - White-breasted, Black-faced, Masked and White-browed. Night birds calling were Southern Boobook, Australian Owlet-Nightjar, Tawny Frogmouth and Eastern Barn Owl. Kathy saw a single Pink Cockatoo along the river. Also of interest were a couple of Pale-headed Rosellas - I would have thought well outside their range limit.

Brown Treecreeper
We had a morning checking out some roadside woodlands around Brewarrina. Birds included Red-winged Parrot, Red-capped Robin, Cockatiel, Blue Bonnet, Pallid Cuckoo, Chesnut-rumped Thornbill and White-winged Fairy-wren. A few Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Red-capped Plovers were on a small irrigation dam.

Pallid Cuckoo



  1. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the trip blog, Greg. Brought back many memories and reminded me of places I need to revisit. I shall miss 'travelling' with you. You could keep going!