Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wetlands trip Aug/Sep 2011 Cooper Creek, Innamincka

1000s of pelicans and cormorants on Cooper Creek. SA.
All of them taking advantage of the abundant food supply.

I spent August/September this year exploring some of Australias inland water ways. The first area I spent time in was Innamincka, SA. The Cooper Creek runs through this area and it is part of the Lake Eyre water catchment and it runs into it. (Lake Eyre is more often a huge dry salt lake surrounded by desert). The Cooper Creek was first discovered by Europeans, Burke and Wills on their ill fated expeditioin to the Gulf of Carpentaria in Qld.

Without realising it my trip was pretty much the same route as theirs. (I travelled north through Mildura, Broken Hill, Innamincka then to The Gulf) The first time I visited this area there was a trickle of water and no ground cover anywhere, it was 40'C and I spent 36 hours on the floor of the tent while a dust storm blew continually(closest to hell I've ever been!) . This trip the Cooper Creek looked every bit the river that it is (Burke and Wills called it a creek because when they saw it thats what it looked like ) It was boom time in the bush.


Great Egrets waiting for a feed.

Great Egret


There were alot of egrets all trying to get the best fishing spot. There were so many fish though that generally, if hassled, a bird would just move a few feet along the bank.

Juvenile Nankeen Night Heron. There were alot of these with juvenile markings and not many adults ( which are very different looking).

Water attracts many things other than just water birds. These honeyeaters were catching insects around the Cooper Creek.

 Nankeen Kestral at Sturt NP. (situated in the NW corner of NSW).

Little Egret. Cooper Creek. Innaminka. SA.

Juvenile Straw-necked Ibis

I spent a few days at Innaminka, camped next to the Cooper Creek. The whole time flocks of pelicans were landing and taking off. Even during the night there was an almost continual beating of wings, as they take off and land on the water, it sounded almost like waves.

Pelicans flying. There were so many birds in the air at any one time it was imposible to capture the spectacle in any one shot.

The pelican on the left is a juvenile. Many pelicans breed nearby.

A shot of the Cooper Creek early in the morning. Great egret and Nankeen night heron in the foreground

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