KiteLittle Eagle by Murray Chambers

This page outlines some of the many potentially good bird-watching sites in southern NSW and northern Victoria.

The region covered extends from Kerang to Tongala and from Bendigo to Deniliquin.

Tim Dolby recently authored a book on good sites in Victoria to observe birds.

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For many years, a book by Thomas and Thomas, The Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia, was widely used by keen bird observers. But the book fell out of date. Recently, a second addition was published. The book was updated by David Andrews and Alan McBride and published by CSIRO Publishing.

Thomas+Thomas

CSIRO Publishing sell books on-line and have a good range of birding and conservation titles available for sale.

Whilst the above books cover Victoria and Australia respectively, this site concentrates on the region around Echuca.

In addition to notes on this page, the Branch has prepared nine downloadable pdf brochures. You can download the brochures by clicking on the appropriate links on this page.

 

 

 

 

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District Birding Spots

Black Swan
Black Swan by Dallas Wyatt

 

Regional Birding Sites

There are many great bird-watching locations in Echuca and District. Some of the spots are listed below. Some years ago, Branch members prepared downloadable pdf files on many of the following sites. During 2012, the brochures are to be revised and redesigned to comply with the formatting requirements of BirdLife Australia. It is suggested that Hayman's Maps of the region be used in conjunction with this information.

     

Area number one
Barmah Forest (northern Victoria)
LinkPrepared with the help of Bev and Alan Curtis, the Branch has prepared a downloadable pdf brochure about birding spots within Barmah Forest: Click here to download a copy of our Barmah Guide

LinkKeith Stockwell has prepared a page about Barmah-Millewa Forest. Click here to enter Keith Stockwell's Barmah-Millewa Forest page.

Located alongside the Murray River upstream of Echuca-Moama, Barmah-Millewa Forest is Australia's largest River Red Gum wetland. Good birding spots in Barmah Forest (on the Victorian side of the Murray River) include Barmah Lake, alongside Broken Creek (from Barmah-Picola Road to its confluence with the Murray River) and roadsides near Yielema (for Superb Parrot and Grey-crowned Babbler).

Key species: Superb Parrot, yellow form of Crimson Rosella, Hooded Robin, Southern Whiteface, Red-cazpped Robin, Diamond Firetail.
Barmah Forest is an Important Bird Area and a Ramsar-listed Wetland of International Significance.

Gulpa Island and Gulpa Creek, on the NSW side of the forest, are dealt with separately.

It is suggested that you obtain a map of Barmah Forest before attempting this route. The sketch map below is indicative only. Hayman's Forest Activities Map of Barmah-Echuca-Deniliquin is excellent and usually available at local Tourist Information Centres.

From Moama, head north on the Cobb Highway (Highway B75). About 5km beyond the railway crossing, turn off Highway B75 onto the Shepparton-Barmah Road. This turnoff is about 18km from Moama. There is a large sign, Shepparton. Note the indigenous tree plantings alongside the Cobb Highway-Barmah Road and on adjoining farmland. Further along, the road cuts through a sandhill which marks the edge of a once larger Barmah Lake. Moira Forest is on your left

Barmah Map.

 

Stop One: Reserve alongside Murray River, opposite Barmah Hotel
Cross the Murray into Barmah and turn right into the park opposite the hotel near the bridge. Many birds are attracted by the introduced trees and shrubs of this small reserve. Blue-faced Honeyeater and Eastern Rosella may be observed here. If the nearby Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta) are in flower, they are worth checking out.

Stop Two: Broken Creek
Take the Picola Road from Barmah Town toward Picola. After about 3km, immediately after crossing Broken Creek (Cemetery Bridge), turn left and follow the creek downstream for about 2.5km, to a locked entry gate into Barmah Forest labelled Management Vehicles Only. Stop here alongside the creek. Sometimes a green plant grows on top of the water so that the water resembles a lawn. Around 40 bird species can usually be sighted here over an hour or so, e.g. Diamond Firetail, Purple Swamp Hen, Brown Tree-creeper, Rufous Whistler, White-plumed Honeyeater, Darter, Whistling Kite, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Striated Thornbill, Yellow (Little) Thornbill, Red-rumped Parrot, yellow form of Crimson Rosella and Little Pied Cormorant. Koalas have been sighted here. The endangered Superb Parrot may be observed nesting in summer. Bushwalkers: it is possible to walk from here along Broken Creek to its confluence with the Murray, near the lakeside camp ground in Barmah State Park.

Stop Three: Baxter's Pit
Return to Barmah-Picola Road, turn left and continue towards Picola. Turn right onto James Bridge Road. Continue along this road until you see a water-filled quarry (Baxter's Pit) on your left. This quarry usually affords excellent birding. Watch for crakes, White-backed Swallow and Red-kneed Dotterel.

In times of wet weather and slippery unsealed roads, end the tour here and return to Echuca-Moama. In June and July, if forest roads are dry, it is recommended that you visit the site of Murray mill instead of Trickery Lane.

Stop Four: Trickey's Lane
Trickey's Lane (Trickey's Road) is a dry-weather road only. Return to the Barmah-Picola Road and turn back toward Barmah. Turn right at the next road, Trickey's Lane. Watch for Grey-crowned Babblers and, if you are visiting between November through to February, check the roadside vegetation for Superb Parrots. Stop at Lyles Road, which is the first T-intersection. Grey-crowned Babblers nest in this area. Continue along Trickey's Lane, pass Vale Road and turn left at the next road to TrickeyÕs Gate. Enter Barmah Forest taking the right fork in the track. Remain on the main track.

Note: Trickey's Lane is a dry weather road only and, because of overhanging tree branches, it is unsuitable for high vehicles such as coaches.

Alternate Stop Four: Murray's Mill (recommended for May and June)
In May and June, a wonderful alternative to Stop 4 is the site of Murray's timber mill. Follow the birding route to Stop 3 and then return to the Barmah-Picola Road. Turn right to Picola township. At Picola, turn left (north) at Picola North Road. Follow this bitumen road until it veers right; travel about another kilometre and turn left on to Murray Mill Road or Gulf Road. Cross a cattle grid and stop in the open area, site of MurrayÕs old mill. Little remains of the mill.

Many robins are migratory birds, spending time in the Great Dividing Range over summer. In May and June this is good spot to look for them. Birds to look for include Hooded Robin (the male has a black hood), Red-capped Robin (red cap and red breast, Flame Robin (the red on the breast extents right up to the head), Scarlet Robin and Jacky Winter. There's also a a possibility of observing Eastern Yellow Robin. Other birds her often include Southern Whiteface, White-throated Tree-creeper, White-plumed Honeyeater, the yellow form of Crimson Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot , White-winged Triller and Diamond Firetail. Drive back to Barmah Town, turn right at the hotel and follow Sandridge Road past the Dharnya Centre to Stop 5.

Stop Five: Steamer Plain
Trickey's Lane ends in a T intersection with Sandridge Road. Turn right and follow the Sandridge Road for just over a kilometre until where it crosses Rat Castle Creek (there are two parallel tracks just prior to the bridge). Leave your car alongside the creek near the fenced koori middens to the left of the road and find a short track which leads to a large plain of Moira Grass (Steamer Plain). The edge of the plain is a good spot for bush birds.

A few decades ago, large areas of the Barmah-Millewa Forest were covered in Moira Grass plains like this one. In late spring, the plain should be flooded. There is another midden on the opposite side of Sandridge Road. Koori groups had three nearby camp sites, one for families, one for single adult males and one for teenagers. Discarded shells and ash formed the mounds we see today.

In wet weather,and during flood times, a gate may prevent further travel along Sandridge Road, in which case turn and head for stop 7. Sections of Sandridge Road are slippery and boggy in wet weather.

Stop Six: Hut Lake
Return to the Sandridge Road and continue along it for about 3km until the intersection with a track to Hut Lake. Follow Hut Lake track toward the lake (GPS 35û 53 45S; 144û 59 45E). As the track may be wet or rough, a short walk may be necessary. Take your scope, if you have one, to see what waterbirds are on or about Hut Lake. Look for Emu, Black Swan, Grey Teal, Coot, White-faced Heron and Peaceful Dove. Return to Sandridge Road and follow it back toward Barmah.

If access to the lake is not possible due to flooding, go straight to Stop 7.

Note: although this lake is regarded as a drought refuge, it was completely dry in mid 2007. Hut Lake and surrounds were flooded and inaccessible by road during 2011.

Stop Seven: Barmah Lake
Follow the Sandridge Road until you see the Dharnya Centre. The interpretive displays in its information building are worth seeing. Toilets are located here. Proceed on for a few hundred metres and turn right to Barmah Lake. Check out the waterbirds on and around the lake. It is also worth walking downstream on the walking track to the confluence with Broken Creek, the watercourse you observed at Stop Two. Keen walkers may wish to follow the walking track alongside the creek and return via the Dharnya Centre (6km). Return to Sandridge Road and turn right. Sandridge Road will take you back to Barmah and Stop One. Cross the Murray into Barmah and turn right into the park opposite the hotel near the bridge.

Swamp
Barmah Forest in flood (K Stockwell)

Return to Echuca-Moama the way you came or, if you have time and the weather is fine, consider this alternative.

(Original notes by Keith Stockwell; revised by Bev and Alan Curtis, March 2006)

Alternative scenic route to Echuca
Rather than taking the Cobb Highway, it is possible to return to Echuca on an unsealed road through Echuca Regional Park to Stewarts Bridge and then on the sealed Bangerang Road and Goulburn Road to Echuca. To reach Stewarts Bridge, travel toward Shepparton for about 7km; turn right onto an unsealed road (look for small road sign 'Stewarts Bridge'; follow the main track through Lower Moira (locality only) and past Madowla Park Sandhill which, despite its stark appearance, often affords good birding. After a few kilometres, the track enters forested country (Echuca Regional Park ~ part of the proposed Murray River Park). Explore one of the right-hand side-tracks to the river for a short break and cross Stewarts Bridge before following directional signs back to Echuca (left onto the sealed Bangerang Road which becomes Goulburn Road).

Area number two
Deniliquin (southern New South Wales)
Link Written with the help of Tom Wheller, the Branch has prepared a downloadable pdf brochure about birding within the town of Deniliquin. Click here to download a copy of our Deniliquin birding guide

It is usually possible to observe at least 50 bird species within, or close to, the town of Deniliquin. Good spots within the town include Island Sanctuary (access from the main shopping street) and Blake Reserve (an indigenous plant garden). A group of local field naturalists spend time bird watching in Island Sanctuary from 7am sharp almost every Sunday morning. 

Key species: Superb Parrot, yellow form of Crimson Rosella, Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Nankeen Night Hero.

Notes about Deniliquin appear below.

Stop One: Island Sanctuary
The Deniliquin area is regarded by some as one of Australia's best birding areas.

This suggested tour commences at the Island Sanctuary, Cressy Street DENILIQUIN (GPS 35 degrees 32 minutes S; 144 degrees 58E). There is a public toilet near the entrance to the reserve and another in the parklands opposite the shops. When crossing the bridge to enter the sanctuary, look for platypuses and water rats in the lagoon. Island Sanctuary can also be accessed from the sporting fields to the east of the reserve.

Waterbirds common in the sanctuary include Black Duck, Maned Duck, Grey Teal, Little Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, White-faced Heron, White-necked Heron, Nankeen Night Heron, Great Egret, Straw-necked Ibis, Australian White Ibis, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Purple Swamphen and Dusky Moorhen.

Raptors often observed in or over the sanctuary include Black Kite, Whistling Kite and Collared Sparrowhawk.

Common bush birds of the reserve include Peaceful Dove, Galah, Long-billed Corella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Crimson Rosella (yellow), Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Azure Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher (Summer), Laughing Kookaburra, Dollarbird (Summer), Brown Tree-creeper, White-throated Treecreeper, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Superb Fairy Wren, White-browed Scrubwren, Weebill, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Yellow Thornbill, Striated Thornbill, Red Wattlebird, Noisy Friarbird, Little Friarbird, Blue-faced Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Varied Sittella, Crested Shrike-tit, Golden Whistler (Winter), Rufous Whistler, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Olive-backed Oriole, Masked Woodswallow, Pied Butcherbird, Magpie, Australian Raven, Little Raven, White-winged Chough, Red-browed Finch, Mistletoebird, Welcome Swallow, Tree Martin, Reed Warbler (Summer), Silvereye, House Sparrow, Rock Dove Blackbird and Starling.

In recent years, some Superb Parrots have nested in the reserve.

Night birds observed in the reserve include Southern Boobook, Barn Owl and Tawny Frogmouth.

Kangaroos are often observed in the sanctuary. They are able to come and go.

Area Two: Blake Reserve Botanic Gardens
Drive north-west along Cressy Street , around two roundabouts, until Cressy Street ends at a T-intersection. Turn left into Fowler Street. After two crossroads, you will come to Blake Reserve (GPS 35û 31 25S; 144û 57 15E), a botanic garden of indigenous plants. It is worth spending up to an hour birding in the garden.

The plants on display include Weeping Pittosporum, Eremophila, Senna, Old Man Saltbush, eucalypts, wattles and native grasses.

Many of the bush birds listed above are sometimes observed here. A few waterbirds may be observed on the lake. Often, you will observe some birds which you may not have observed in Island Sanctuary. In summer, look for the Clamorous Reed Warbler and Little Grass Bird in the reeds on the opposite side of Fowler Street.

Area Three: wetlands
From Blake Reserve, continue along Fowler Street, turning left into Ochtertyre Street at the T-intersection. Continue on around the roundabout and turn right at the stadium into Wirraway Drive (Cemetery Road). On your right is Rotary Park. This may be a suitable spot for a meal break or toilet stop. Continue on along Wirraway Drive, crossing a canal, until you see a cemetery on your left. The area bordered by the cemetery, rice mill, abbatoir and saleyards (GPS 35 33'S; 144 56'E) is a great area for waterbirds, including waders. Check out the ponds opposite the cemetery for such birds as Black-tailed Native Hen and Eurasian Coot.

Drive half way around the block and access the wetlands near the truck wash in Saleyards Road. Before it was improved by the Council, the wetland was shallow and fringed with rushes. The wetland here used to be a good spot to look for waders, including Red-kneed Dotterel and Black-fronted Dotterel. Look for the White-fronted Chat. In summer, some migratory waders may be observed here. Unfortunately the pond is now too steep-sided and too deep for most waders and a brilliant birding spot is no more.

Check out the reeds in the pond nearest the rice mill for Baillons Crake and other waterbirds.

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Baillons Crake (D Ong)

It is worth returning to Wirraway Road (Cemetery Road) and driving along it to the south-west for about two kilometres. immediately before it enters private property, look for Banded Lapwing in the paddocks adjoining the road.

Many ducks and other waterbirds can often be observed on the settlement ponds of the sewerage treatment works at the south-western end of Macauley Street. Enter at your own risk. It is possible to observe over 80 bird species in a day within the town of Deniliquin. In summer, migratory birds may enable you to attain an even higher total.

The Deniliquin brochure (downloadable pdf file) contains sketch maps.

Area number three
Echuca-Moama (Victoria/NSW border town)
linkThe Branch has prepared a downloadable pdf brochure about birding sites within Echuca-Moama. Click here to download a copy of our brochure about birding sites of Echuca Moama

link A free brochure about the Moama Wetlands is available from Shire of Murray offices

link A free brochure prepared by our Branch for Echuca landcare Group containing photos of many of the birds observed within the area is available from Echuca-Moama Information Centre. The brochure is titled Native birds of Echuca-Moama

Good birding spots within Echuca-Moama include Horseshoe lagoon Bicentennial Park (Moama Wetlands) and Victoria Park.

Perricoota Road reserves are dealt with separately.

Horseshoe Lagoon, Moama
From Echuca, cross the iron bridge to Moama. On your right is an elevated walkway through the tree tops. Once over the bridge, turn right over the railway and immediately turn right again to reach the start of the wooden walkway. The walkway crosses a horseshoe-shaped lagoon, beyond which is a swampy area that supports many water birds. Thickets of wattle alongside the Murray afford excellent habitat for bush birds. Unless the river is in flood, you can do a circuit walk on well-maintained walking tracks. About 45 species can often be observed over the course of two hours. A colour brochure with a map is available from the adjoining Council offices.

Victoria Park and Murray Pines Sandhill Protection Zone
Follow the Scenic Drive which commences near the north end of Dickson Street. After about a kilometre, there are some lagoons on the left and these are worth checking out when they contain water. At the 'back' of the cleared former school site is Murray Pines Sandhill Conservation Zone. In wetter years, this fenced sandhill is alive with birds. A walking loop can be assessed from the main entry gate near the school or via a style on the far side of the fenced area. White-winged Choughs have a large nest nearby. In summer, Rainbow Bee-eaters nest here. Their nests are tunnels dug into the sides of sandy slopes. Dollarbirds have been observed in this vicinity. It's a great spot to look for thornbills, including Buff-rumped, Little (Yellow), Yellow-rumped and Striated.

Banyula Forest, Echuca
Banyula Forest is an area of red gum forest alongside the Murray in Echuca, upstream of the Information Centre. There is a walking track from the Information Centre underneath the Echuca-Moama bridge that leads into Banyula Forest. The best birding is usually close to the Murray River. Superb Fairy-wrens are usually abundant.

Area number four
Gulpa Creek/Mathoura (southern NSW)
link Our Branch has prepared a downloadable pdf brochure about birding sites of Mathoura and Gulpa Island. Click here to download a copy of our Gulpa Creek Mathoura brochure

linkA free brochure entitled Gulpa Creek Forest Walks is available from Mathoura Visitor Information Centre

link Thomas, Thomas, Andrew and McBride's book The Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia features a section about Gulpa Island on page 51

linkThe webmeister has prepared his own web page about Barmah-Millewa Forest, including notes on Gulpa Island. Click here to enter Keith Stockwell's Barmah-Millewa Forest


Gulpa Island is a Ramsar wetland of international significance and an Important Bird Area.

Good birding spots in the wetlands near Mathoura include the Reed Beds Bird Hide, Langmans Sandhill, Sages Track, the arboretum alongside the Cobb Highway just north of the northern entry to Gulpa Island, and the walking tracks alongside Gulpa Creek in Mathoura.

Key species: Emu, Superb Parrot, Gilbert's Whistler, Crested Shrike-tit, Southern Whiteface, Hooded Robin, Diamond Firetail, Varied Sittella., Little Bittern, Australasian Bittern and Rufous Songlark.

Mathoura is located about 45km north of Echuca-Moama (about 40km south of Deniliquin) along Highway 75. Consider calling in at the Mathoura Visitor Information Centre for a brochure on the Gulpa Creek Walk Trail (Stop 1). There are toilets alongside the Information Centre.

Gulpa Island is part of Murray Valley National Park (the area closest to Mathoura is part of Murray Valley Regional Park)

Mathoura Map

Stop One: the walking track system alongside Gulpa Creek
Drive north on the highway to the edge of Mathoura and turn right onto an unsealed track (signposted 'Forest Walk') just beyond the mandarin orchard and park in the picnic area alongside Crane's Bridge.

Cross the footbridge and walk along the creekside track until you see a wetland on your left (on the other side of Gulpa Creek Road).

The land on the highway side of the creek is much higher, marking the edge of an uplifted block called the Cadell Tilt Block, which blocked the Murray about 15,000 years ago, leading to the formation of the Barmah and Moira Lakes.

Cadell Tilt Block

Look for bush birds alongside the creek, e.g. White-plumed Honeyeater, Silvereye, Red-browed Finch, the yellow form of Crimson Rosella, Striated Pardalote, Striated Thornbill, Crested Shrike-tit and White-browed Scrub-wren. Waterbirds may be observed on and alongside Gulpa Creek and on the nearby swamp, e.g. Darter, Maned Duck, White-faced Heron and Black Duck

Notice that reeds (Phragmites australis) are less common along the banks on the forest side of the creek but common along the banks on the town side of the creek, at the foot of the tilt block. This may be a result of cattle grazing over past years.

The walking track continues along the creek to Picnic Point Road (near Poley's Bridge ~ named after a Polish person who lived nearby) but you will need to arrange for a vehicle to meet you at the end. If there is no vehicle to meet you at Poley's Bridge, return to Crane's Bridge. Birds can be observed from the picnic table provided. The sculpture depicts a Murray Cod

Stop Two: Deadman's Creek
Continue along Picnic Point Road and be on the lookout for the bridge over Deadmans Creek. Just before the bridge is a track to a parking area alongside Gulpa Creek. Unless flooded or overgrown with weeds, this is an excellent birding area. Look for birds of prey and waterbirds. The creekside walking track is closed at the entrance to a fenced area of about 2,000ha. The vegetation has recovered well since the area was fenced to exclude cattle; some endangered plants have become more common. Cattle grazing is no longer permitted on any part of Gulpa Island.

Stop Three: Bird-viewing structure
Continue along Picnic Point Road. About 7km from Mathoura, before the Tocumwal turnoff, turn right into the car park of a bird viewing structure which is part of a 'Tri-avian Corridor'. As you approach the hide, listen and watch for White-plumed Honeyeater, Sacred Kingfisher, the yellow form of Crimson Rosella, Nankeen Night Heron and White-throated Tree-creeper.

Bird Hide
Bird observation structure at the end of an elevated board walk, Reed Beds

Reed Beds
View from the Reed Beds bird observation structure, December 2009 (K Stockwell)

If there is no water in the Reed Beds, few birds will be observed. But if the wetlands contain water, look from the hide for such waterbirds as Great Crested Grebe and Australasian Grebe, Musk Duck, Little Pied Cormorant, Darter, Australian White Ibis, Straw-necked Ibis, Royal Spoonbill, Black Swan, Great Egret, Large Egret and Grey Teal. In summer, Australian Reed Warblers sing from the reeds. During 2011, both Australasian Bittern and Little Bittern were observed here Buff-banded Rails sometimes appeared close to the hide. Egrets and ibis nested here when the beds were full in 2009 and 2011.

A Swamp Harrier is often observed gliding over the wetland in search of prey.

Ibis raft
Ibis Raft on the Reed beds (Photo: Joe Murphy)

On the other side of Picnic Point Road, further toward Picnic Point, Southern Whiteface, Jacky Winter, Peaceful Dove, Crimson Rosella (yellow form), Red-rumped Parrot, Diamond Dove and Common Bronzewing may be seen but please do not enter either the fenced revegetation area or private property.

Stop Four: walkway to old waterbird observatory
Continue a short distance until you see the turnoff alongside Gulpa Creek. It is worth stopping at the start of this track to search for Azure Kingfisher and Sacred Kingfisher. The track to the site of the old hide is often untrafficable. You may wish to drive or walk as far as a suspension bridge. White-browed Scrubwrens are often seen near the suspension bridge. The Giant Rush which grows where the Red Gum forest gives way to swamp is the world's tallest, Juncus ingens. There is also a tall reed, Phragmites australis. It may be unwise to venture further: the track may be overgrown and/or flooded. Also, there are many snakes here.

Southern Whiteface
Southern Whiteface: often observed at Stop 4 (D Ong)

Stop Five: Picnic Point
Return to Picnic Point Road and follow it until you reach the Murray River. The narrow park alongside the river often affords good birding. Some birds which reside here (e.g. White-browed Scrub Wrens) seem used to people and are not as timid as they are in most other places. Look for Nankeen Night Herons resting in the willows. There are public toilets here.

Stop Eight: picnic Point-Tarragon Road
Just prior to Picnic Point is a turnoff to Tarragon Lodge and Murraybank Caravan Park. Finches can sometimes be observed near the bridge over Gulpa Creek. Look for Grey-crowned Babblers and Blue-faced Honeyeaters along this road.

When the roads are dry and when the forest is not flooded, it is possible to return to the Cobb Highway from Stop- 6 via a Forestry Drive through Moira State Forest.

Once you enter Moira State Forest near Poverty Point, take the Poverty Point Road and then Coolamon Road ...or drive along Narrows Road and take Porters Creek Road and Coolamon Road ... back to the Cobb Highway south of Mathoura. Keep an eye out for emus. Alternatively, simply return to Mathoura the way you came.

Pamphlets and maps on the area are available from the Mathoura Tourist Information Centre, Mathoura

Sages Road: a great track for birding that crosses sandhills and passes lagoons
If the forest is dry, if you have a 4WD and if you have good maps, it is possible to visit some of the remoter parts of Gulpa Island. The Mathoura 1:50,000 topographic map is recommended; the Hayman's Forest Activities Map is also excellent and more up-to-date. Once you have driven the route once or twice, you may wish to walk the route with others.

Key species: Emu, Southern Whiteface, Diamond Firetail, Brown Tree-creeper, yellow form of Crimson Rosella, Hooded Robin.

From Mathoura, drive south to Picnic Point Road. Immediately after crossing Gulpa Creek, turn north (left) onto Gulpa Creek Road. Follow this road north for three kilometres to Little Edward Road. Sages Road runs south off Little Edward Road ~ look for Emu, Southern Whiteface, Brown Tree-creeper and Diamond Firetail, e.g. near 35û 47S; 144û 55E.

It is often worth checking out the waterhole on the far side of the Banksia Exclosure for waterbirds.

At the end of Sages Road, turn right and then left.

Bird alongside Duffy's Lagoon and then follow Duggans Road to the intersection of Millewa Road (Tocumwal Road) at Edwards Bridge.

Turn right on to Millewa Road (Tocumwal Road) to return to Mathoura via Picnic Point Road. En route, it is worth stopping at the bird hide

Langmans Sandhill: a fenced exclosure in and around which bush birds can be seen
It might be wise to obtain a forest map from the Mathoura Tourist Information Centre, Cobb Highway, before attempting this full-day or half-day outing. The Mathoura and Deniliquin 1:50,000 NSW maps AND/OR Hayman's Forest Activities Map are recommended.

Key species: Superb Parrot, Gilbert Whistler, White-browed Babbler, Western Gerygone, Zebra Finch, yellow form of Crimson Rosella, Red-capped Robin.

A good birding spot in the Mathoura area is Langmans Sandhill alongside Langmans Road but the site is only accessible in dry weather and when the forest is not in flood. If the roads are wet, turn back!

From Mathoura, take the Picnic Point Road to the eastern side of the town. Immediately after crossing Gulpa Creek, turn left onto Gulpa Creek Road and follow this road for several kilometres.

Immediately before Barkers Bridge (GPS 35û 42 25S; 144û 54 50E), turn east on to Junction Road. Veer right onto Langmans Road. Stop once you come to a fenced exclosure. Park your vehicle and walk alongside of the fence, away from Langmans Road, down to the Edward River. (GPS 35û 48 20S; 144û 56 05E)

Birds to look for here include Superb Parrot, White-browed Babbler, Gilberts Whistler, Western Gerygone, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote and Red-browed Finch.

Return to your vehicle and retrace your journey back to the bridge over The Edward. Cross the bridge and follow the track a relatively short distance to the Cobb Highway (B75).

Consider birding near the entry grid where the vegetation changes from Red Gum to Box (GPS 35û 43 00S; 144û 56 07E). In particular, look for these birds: Emu, Red-rumped Parrot, Southern Whiteface, Brown Tree-creeper, Brown Quail and Diamond Firetail.

If time permits, turn north at the highway and follow it for a few hundred metres until you see an arboretum to the right (eastern side of highway). There is a track alongside the highway and it runs to the east.

Follow Highway 75t (Cobb Highway) south back to Mathoura (or north to Deniliquin.

Area number five
Gunbower Island and the Cohuna area (northern Victoria)
link The Branch has prepared a downloadable pdf brochure about birding spots of Gunbower Island. Click here to download a copy of our Gunbower Birding Guide

link Our Branch has prepared a coloured brochure for Gunbower Development Group Inc. about native birds of the Gunbower area. Copies of the brochure are available from various outlets in Gunbower

link The webmeister has prepared his own page about Gunbower-Perricoota wetlands. Click here to enter Keith Stockwell's Gunbower National Park-Perricoota Forest page

Good birding spots near Cohuna include the wetlands at the Cohuna end of Island Road, Kow Swamp, Baillieu's (Richardson's) Lagoon (for Magpie Geese, Brolga and White-bellied Sea-eagle), Torrumbarry Weir (for Herons, Egrets and Blue-faced Honeyeater), Johnson Swamp and Hird Swamp (Painted Snipe, Crakes and Rails) and Gunbower Island National Park.

Key species: Magpie Goose,Blue-faced Honeyeater, Emu, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Brolga, Painted Snipe.

More notes about the Gunbower/Cohuna/Torrumbarry area appear below.

It is suggested that you use 1:50,000 NSW map Keely or Hayman's Forest Activities Map (Cohuna-Gunbower Island-Echuca) before attempting this route.

This tour commences at Echuca Tourist Information Centre. If you are leaving from Echuca, drive out of the town via Warren Street and north-west along the B400 (Murray Valley Highway) for about 18.3 km. Look for Fraser Road on your right but do not turn off the highway yet. Signal right. Continue on for a few hundred metres and look for a gate and track on your right. If the gate is open, drive through and park near the edge of Murphy Swamp.

Stop One: Murphy Swamp
That part of Murphy Swamp which is located on the northern side of the B400 (Murray Valley Highway) is a remnant of a once-larger swamp. Although there is another section of swamp to the south (can be accessed via Hattwell Road), most of it has been drained to make way for farms. This is a pity insofar as Brolgas and other water birds used to live on the area which has now been drained.
The number of species you can observe on the northern part of Murphy Swamp depends greatly upon the water level in the swamp. Look for Whistling Kite, Swamp Harrier, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Black-tailed Native Hen, Purple Swamp Hen and Musk Duck.

Stop Two: Baillieu (Richardsons) Lagoon
Continue along the B400 for about 2km and turn right into Baillieu Road. The road travels through Baillieu Estate for about a kilometre before entering wetland. Keep veering left until you are alongside Baillieu (Richardsons) Lagoon. If the lagoon contains water, the birding here may be excellent. Look for Brolgas. Please respect private property and fences.

Stop Three: Torrumbarry Weir
Return to the B400 and continue on for about 11km. Turn right onto Torrumbarry Weir Road (the turn off is about 6km after Torrumbarry township). Continue to the end of this road. Birds often found in the gardens at Torrumbarry Weir include Blue-faced Honeyeater, Grey Shrike Thrush and Brown Treecreeper. Birds found near the spillway may include Little Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Darter and Whistling Kite. It is sometimes worth checking out the forest alongside the entry road for bush birds. Return to the B400 and continue driving north-west.

Stop Four: Cohuna
The turnoff to Gunbower Island is the roundabout in Cohuna. It is often worth birding in the parklands across the bridge.

Gunbower National Park
Gunbower Island can be accessed via Cohuna. At a roundabout, turn north-east off the B400 (Murray Valley Highway) onto Island Road (a sealed road). The road passes through parkland which often affords good birding.
If forest roads are wet or if the forest is flooded, keep on the sealed island Road and follow it back to the Murray Valley Highway. There are places alongside Island Road and alongside some of the all-weather side roads where you can stop and do some birding. If the forest roads are dry and if you have a good map, such as the Haymans Map of Gunbower Island, the following journey into the national park is possible:

About 1.5km from Cohuna, a marked forest drive (initially Rifle Butts Track) heads north from Island Road, follows the Murray River toward the east (River Track) and then changes direction south, south-west (Nursery Track) before rejoining Island Road, which is at the side of Gunbower Creek. From here you can turn right to return to Cohuna or turn left and follow Island Road. Burke's Bridge will return you to the B400. The area alongside Burkes Bridge usually offers good birding.

The best birding spots are not necessarily along the forest drive. Birders may wish to leave the Forest Drive to check out Reedy Lagoon but the lagoon is fenced and vision is limited: there is a stile at the intersection of Reedy and Iron Punt tracks but the area may be snake-infested.

Near the start of the Forest Drive, take Chettle Track and Wee Wee Rup Track, joining the Forest Drive along River Track. Follow River Track to Nursery Track and take it back to Island Road. Turn right at Island Road to return to Cohuna or turn left along Island Road and stop at likely birding spots between the road and Gunbower Creek. You do not have to return along the road but can reach the B400 via Burke's Bridge.

Clump Bend, Koondrook
Accessible only when forest roads are dry, Clump Bend is located about a kilometre east of, and can be accessed from, Koondrook. Amongst the Dwarf Native Cherry (Exocarpus) look for Gilbert's Whistler. Grey-crowned Babblers have a roost close to the main track. This is usually a particularly good birding location.

Barham Lake
Barham Lake is a good birding spot within the town of Barham. There are toilets and walking paths.
A caravan park adjoins this reserve.

Barham Indigenous Botanic Gardens
Not far from Barham Lake is a native plant garden. Entry is free but the volunteers who maintain the garden might appreciate a small donation. Look for honeyeaters and bush birds.

Hird Swamp and Johnson Swamp
Hird Swamp and Johnson Swamp are located either side of the Kerang-Leitchville (Old Echuca) Road. When they contain water, both Hird Swamp and Johnson Swamp afford outstanding birding opportunities. Painted Snipe have often been sighted in Hird Swamp. Johnson Swamp is often brilliant for Spotted Crake, Spotless Crake, Baillon's Crake and Buff-banded Rail.
Access to Johnson Swamp is via Day Lane which is a dry weather road only.

Di Peace has a cottage in the forest and another in Barham, both of which are available for hire.

Area number six
Kamarooka Forest (central Victoria)
link There is a separate page about Birding in Kamarooka with Peter Allan. Click here to enter.

linkThe Branch has produced a downloadable pdf brochure that contains similar information to the page mentioned above: Click here to download a copy of our Kamarooka Guide (pdf file).

link Our webmeister has prepared a separate web page about Greater Bendigo National Park: click here to enter

Good birding spots in Kamarooka include Campbells Road dams and Black Rock.

Kamarooka Forest is to the north of the Bendigo Whipstick and is part of Greater Bendigo National Park. Click on the above links for more information about birding sites within Kamarooka Forest.

Key species: Spotted Nightjar, Gilbert's Whistler, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Shy Heathwren, Variegated Fairy-wren.

 

Area number seven
Kanyapella and Wyuna
link The Branch has produced a downloadable pdf brochure about birding spots in Kanyapella and the Wyuna area: Click here to download a copy of our Kanyapella Guide

link A publication about Kanyapella Basin is available from local DPI offices and from the Echuca Visitor Information Centre: Welcome to Kanyapella Basin

link The webmeister has produced his own web page about the Kanyapella Basin generally: Click here to enter a page about the Kanyapella Basin

Good birding spots in the Kanyapella-Wyuna area include Wyuna River Reserve (now part of Lower Goulburn River National Park) and where Mitchell road crosses Warrigal Creek.

Key species: Bush Stone-curlew

Click on the link to the Kanyapella page for more information about birding in this area. A full day is needed to cover the birding spots mentioned in the brochure. Some roads are dry weather roads only. Hope for little and expect less..

Area number eight
Reserves along Perricoota Road (southern NSW)
linkThe Branch has produced a downloadable pdf brochure about birding spots along Perricoota Road (Moama to Barham Road). Click here to download a copy of the Perricoota Road Moama brochure.

linkSeparate web page: Gunbower-Perricoota Forest

Good birding spots along Perricoota Road include lakes near the entrance to Rich River Golf Course (24 Lane), Benarca Forest (Robins, Diamond Firetail, yellow form of Crimson Rosella), Five Mile Reserve (Western Gerygone, Thornbills, Peaceful Dove, Varied Sittella), the wetlands opposite the Perricoota Woolshed (Brown Tree-creeper, waterbirds, Thornbills) and the Womboota Arboretum. Further along the road, look for Grey-headed Babblers near dams. Restdown Winery (Jungle Lane) has a nature walk (bookings preferred) (Blue Bonnets). Along the Caldwell-Mathoura Road west of its intersection with Perricoota Road, wild Ostriches can usually be observed.

Benarca Forest and The Five Mile are now precincts of Murray Valley Regional Park.

Key species: Diamond Firetail, Brown Tree-creeper, Varied Sittella, Southern Whiteface, Emu, Grey-crowned Babbler.
Note: wild Ostriches live on farmland (e.g. East Cadell) along the Barham-Caldwell Road near its intersection with Perricoota Road but please do not enter private property.

There are more notes about Perricoota Road Reserves below.

Perricoota Road runs from Moama to Barham. Murray Shire has produced a coloured brochure on Perricoota Road Tourist Drive. Available from local tourist information centres and Murray Shire offices, this brochure provides information on holiday parks and cottages, motels, restaurants, wineries, clubs, Perricoota Station and reserves. If you wish to explore Perricoota Forest or spots off Perricoota Road, the following 1:50,000 maps are recommended: 7825 Moama; 7826 Mathoura, 7726 Keely and 7726 Barham.

Stock Routes allow drovers to move cattle and sheep along roads. In places, there are Travelling Stock Reserves, wider roadside areas where cattle can be held overnight. Along Perricoota Road, are TSR reserves locally known as the Five Mile (adjoining Moama State Forest), the Ten Mile and the 12 Mile. There is also one near Womboota Village. Because few mobs are driven along the stock routes these days, there is much regeneration of the vegetation along Perricoota Road and in the TSRs.

Moama State Forest (Five Mile Reserve) has been renamed Murray Valley Regional Park, Moama Precinct.

The TSR reserves along Perricoota Road now provide good habitat for many bird species, including some which are classified as endangered by some States, e.g. Brown Treecreeper, Diamond Firetail and Grey-crowned Babbler. In places, Gold Dust Wattle (Acacia acinacea) is regenerating well. At the Five Mile, there are sometimes drifts of Everlasting Daisies and Drumsticks. Native pines grow near the 12 Mile.

If you would like to bird in some of the reserves alongside Perricoota Road, turn off the Cobb Highway (B75) onto the clearly sign-posted Perricoota Road.

Stop 1a: Lakes in new housing estate
Since this route was originally typed, a new housing development has opened up between Moama and the Rich River Turn off. There are roads named after wines. There are also at least two artificial lakes. These are starting to attract water birds. Check out the lake with a fountain for grebes.

Stop 1b: Kilkerrin Lakes and Rich River Lake
After a few kilometres is a turnoff on your right (24 Lane) to the Rich River Golf Club. Take this turnoff and check the birds on the two lakes between Perricoota Road and the entrance to the Golf Club. Birds usually seen on the lakes include Pelican, Purple Swamp Hen, Dusky Moorhen, Black Swan, Black Duck, Coot, Wood Duck and Black-fronted Dotterel and, in summer, a number of waders may be observed.Good views of the lake nearest the golf club entrance can also be obtained from a bridge alongside Kingfisher Drive in the Rich River Lakes Estate (residents request that parking be in the bays near the pool rather than on the road).

Stop Two: Tataila Lane
Continue on past the Golf Club entrance, and turn right onto Tataila Lane.Stop along the road, prefer=ably where trees are in blossom. The plantation alongside the road, at the edge of the golf course, often supports a number of honeyeaters not often observed in the district, e.g. Black honeyeater, Singing Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater.

After checking out the plantation, return to Perricoota Road and continue travelling west.

Stop Three: Five Mile Reserve (Moama Regional Park)
Located about 7km north-west of Moama, alongside Perricoota Road, is the Five Mile, a TSR reserve and Moama State Forest. As fewer mobs use the stock route than in the past, much regeneration has occurred over recent years, despite a prolonged drought.

If you turn left toward the boat ramp and park alongside the river, you may sit or walk along the river and then head up the slope and walk parallel to the wire fence before returning to your vehicle. Look for kingfishers, Red-capped Robin, Striated Thornbill, White-winged Chough, Restless flycatcher, Brown Tree-creeper, Varied Sittella (in old Box trees along the 'cliff) and Western Gerygone, Red-browed Finch, Diamond Firetail and Yellow-rumped Thornbill( e.g. feeding on saltbush berries in the fenced exclosure).

Red-browed Finch
Red-browed Finch ~ often observed at the Five Mile (photo: D Ong)

Stop Four: Ten Mile Reserve
About 13km (nine miles) along Perricoota Road is another wider section of the Travelling Stock Route. This is an excellent spot to search for Grey-crowned Babbler, as well as for the bush birds listed above. This reserve is on the opposite side of the road to the Murray River and some distance from the river. Note how Old Man Saltbush has been planted on the adjoining property for grazing by sheep.

Stop Five: Wetland opposite Perricoota Woolshed
At times, a good spot along Perricoota Road is the swamp and box country opposite Perricoota Woolshed, near the turnoff to Perricoota Forest. Look for Diamond Firetail, Hooded Robin, waterbirds) as well as the birds listed for Stop 3. Continue on your journey, noting the roadside plantings (some a result of direct seeding by Moama and Green Fully Landcare Groups).

Stop Six: Womboota Village
Continue along Perricoota Road until you reach Womboota Village. The arboretum at Womboota village is worth checking out. In winter, look for Red-capped Robin and Flame Robin in the adjoining fields. The Old Schoolhouse Pottery and Winery are worth checking out.

Grey-crowned Babblers
Whilst travelling
beyond Womboota Village, look for a dam on the left side of the road. A colony of Grey-crowned babblers live here and can usually be heard or seen.

Some distance beyond the village is another turnoff to Perricoota Forest.

Stop Seven: Green Gully
Continue along Perricoota Road beyond the end of the bitumen and stop in a saltbush-covered depression, Green Gully. Look for a huge Wedgetailed Eagle nest. In summer, there is a chance of seeing chats here.

Unless you wish to continue along Perricoota Road to Restdown Winery (that has a nature circuit alongside an old course of the Murray River) or unless you wish to search for ostriches alongside the Caldwell-Mathoura Road, turn around for your return journey to Moama. Ignore the turnoff into Perricoota Forest as this is a day's outing in itself, best done from February to early Ma when forest roads may be dry.

Stop Eight: Benarca Forest
East of Perricoota Forest, between Perricoota Road and the Murray River, is a small forest reserve worth exploring, Benarca Forest, now a precinct of Murray Valley Regional Park.

Access is via McKindlay Road, just west of McKindlay's indigenous plant nursery. If there are no noisy boats on the river here, the riverside just before the entry gate usually affords excellent birding. Ostriches are often in a paddock on the opposite side of the road to the river (but you cannot tick them on your bird list as they are farm stock!).

If time permits, you may wish to explore Benarca Forest before returning to Moama. Apart from the entry gate area, the best birding spot in Benarca Forest is often the fenced sandhill. White-browed Babblers live (or, rather, used to live) in the fenced enclosure. The endangered Sandalwood Tree is still found on a sandhill here. But finding your way along a maze of tracks to the sandhill is not easy: veer right near the entry but trial and error is still needed.

A day in Perricoota Forest
It is recommended that you obtain the following 1:50,000 NSW topographic maps before attempting this drive: Moama, Mathoura and Keely. Alternatively, the Hayman's Map covering this forest may be used.

Please note that the forest is accessible only in dry weather and when the forest is not in flood. During 2012 much of the forest will be closed to the public to enable engineering works to be completed.

Note: parts (or all) of Perricoota Forest may be closed to allow engineering works that are aimed at improving the delivery of environmental water into and out of the forest.

Perricoota Forest is the second-largest Red Gum wetland in Australia. It is an' Important Bird Area' and Ramsar Wetland of international significance.

Some of the forest opposite Perricoota Forest, on the Victorian side of the Murray River, is Gunbower National Park and some is part of Murray River Park Perricoota Forest is a multi-use forest in which lumbering and cattle grazing are permitted.

To reach Perricoota Forest from Moama, drive 21km along Perricoota Road (refer to maps). En route, you may wish to stop at the Five Mile Reserve (8 km from Moama on your left) and at the wetland to the north of the Perricoota Woolshed.

Immediately past the Perricoota Woolshed, turn left on to an unsealed road.

After 8.8km (29.8km from Moama), turn left off River Road into the forest. Immediately after passing over a grid (33km from Moama) turn left and continue on until you see a billabong. The wetlands here are worth exploring. Retrace your journey back to River Road and turn left.

After about 42.5km, turn left into Lock Road. It is worth stopping along this track. The views of the Murray River and the birding are usually good here.

Return to River Road to continue your journey through the forest.. It may be worth birding in some of the less-disturbed bush alongside the road. About 59km from Moama is one of several tracks (lines and arrows are painted on trees) which lead to the Murray. You may wish to drive along or walk along this track to the Murray. This and other tracks in the vicinity are bordered by everlasting daisies, Dwarf Cherry (Exocarpus), Red Gum and, on higher ground, Box trees. Some tracks end at sandy beaches. Return to River Road and continue on past Prices and Penny Royal roads.

About 70km from Moama, turn right onto Belbins Road. You are now on your way back to Moama. Slow before the intersection with Corio Road as the surface is loose on the bend. Watch for emus. After 82km, cross a channel. This is often a good birding spot.

Two kilometres further on the track passes a house ('Lovely Gums'). Exit through the gates and drive straight ahead along Lower Thule Road. When it contains water, a wetland on your right supports lots of birds.

If you cross Perricoota Road and drive along Jungle Road, you will see directional signs to Restdown Winery. This vineyard features a marked walking trail through a variety of vegetation types along an old course of the Murray River.You may wish to purchase some wine in the underground cellars.

Should you not wish to visit the winery, turn right (east) at Perricoota Road. After a while the bitumen resumes. Follow Perricoota Road back to Moama. Alternatively, follow the signs to Bunnaloo and return to Moama via Thyra Road.

Area number nine
Terrick Terrick National Park
link The Branch has a separate page about birding in Terrick Terrick National Park. Click here to enter our Terrick Terrick Birds page. The page contains several photographs and a bird list as well as a suggested birding route (modification of the route outlined below).

link The Branch has produced a downloadable pdf brochure: Terrick Terrick National Park (text by Peter Allan)
Important Bird Area (Plains-wanderer)

link Terricks Bird List: Click here to download a copy of a Terrick Terrick Bird List (pdf file; list originally prepared by Chris Coleborn)

link The webmeister has produced his own web page about Terrick Terrick National Park: Click here to enter Keith Stockwell's Terrick Terrick National Pak page.

Terrick Terrick National Park contains the largest remaining in tact area of grassy woodland in northern Victoria as well as a large area of indigenous grassland.

Key Species: Diamond Firetail, Tree Martin, Plains-wanderer, Spotted Harrier, Black Falcon, Gilbert's Whistler, Hooded robin, Red-capped Robin, Southern Whiteface, Australian Ringneck, Jacky Winter, Black Honeyeater, Chestnut-rumped thornbill, Brown Tree-creeper, Budgerigar, Cockatiel.

Travel west from Echuca-Moama on Echuca-Mitiamo Road(or alternatively on Mt Terricks Road) to Mitiamo.

Terrick Terrick national Park is located about 50km west of Echuca and about 3km north of Mitiamo. On the outskirts of Mitiamo, look for Brolgas: a pair is occasionally seen alongside Bendigo Creek or on the football oval. In wetter years, check out depressions and dams for birds such as Whistling Duck, Black-winged Stilt and Black-tailed Native Hen.

From the crossroads in Mitiamo, drive north on the Sylvaterre-Lake Tims Lake Road for about four km into the National Park and turn right at the Park sign onto Cemetery (Picnic Ground) Track.

Terricks Map

Stop One: corner of Picnic Track and Link Track
Picnic Track Entrance
Collect a map from the nearby pamphlet box or, better still, download a copy from the Parks Victoria web site prior to your visit because the pamphlet box is usually empty!

Check out the bush along Link Track (east of the pamphlet box) for bush birds, e.g. Red-capped and Hooded Robins (and, in winter, Flame Robin), thornbills, honeyeaters, Diamond Firetail, Crested Shrike Tit, Eastern Rosella and Varied Sittella. Diamond Firetails nest here in late spring/summer and decorate their nests with Everlastings. Unfortunately, however, bush bird numbers, including Firetail numbers crashed during recent drought years. At times, large numbers of wood-swallows may be observed.

Terrick Terrick National Park supports Victoria's largest stand of native White Cypress Pine, meaning parts of the park have a European rather than Australian appearance.

Hooded Robin
A pair of Hooded Robins ~ often observed in bushland alongside Link Track (D Ong)

Drive alongside the boundary fence on Picnic Track until you reach a T-intersection. Turn right to the cemetery.

Stop Two: Mitiamo Cemetery
Drive alongside the boundary fence on Picnic Track. Keep an eye out for Australian Ringneck Parrots. When you reach a T-intersection, turn right to the cemetery and then veer left,and park near the entry gates. Less common plant species survive immediately to the east of the cemetery, e.g. Hakea, Hop Bush, Drooping She-oak, Buloke and Sandalwood. These plants, in turn, support a number of endangered and bush birds. Look for White-browed Babbler, wood-swallows, robins and Jacky Winter. It is suggested that you walk outside of the cemetery, along the eastern fence until the south-eastern corner. Look for Babblers, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Black-chinned Honeyeater, Mistletoebird and Peaceful Dove.
The cemetery is at the edge of the park, close to farmland. Such peripheral zones are often rich in bird species.

Following wet periods, ponds that form in the large quarry to the west of the cemetery (the quarry is not a part of the national park) may support Wood Duck, Australasian Grebe and other waterbirds.

Stop Three: Mitiamo Rock (Mt Terrick)
Retrace your route to the T intersection but continue along Picnic Track to the well-kept picnic ground at the base of Mitiamo Rock (Mt Terrick). There are toilets and tables here. Brown Tree-creepers and Tree Martins live in the picnic ground. Diamond Firetail is often observed in the grass near the toilets.

Mistletoebirds often feed on nearby Ballart. Near the start of the walking track to the summit (95m above sea level), look for Gilberts Whistler, Southern Whiteface, Ringneck Parrot, White-winged Chough, Grey Shrike Thrush and robins. Taking care, the Rock can be climbed relatively easily and allows great views across the plains of northern Victoria to Pyramid Hill, Mount Hope and Kow Swamp.

Gilberts Whistler
Gilberts Whistler ~ often seen in shrubbery alongside the track to the top of Mitiamo Rock (D Ong)

There are native wells in the rock about a hundred metres west of the walking track. A cross country walk from the here due west toward Allen Track and Link Track will take you through a thick understorey of Olearia. This is a good spot to look for Painted Button-quail.

Stop Four: Base of a Riegal Rock
Return to the
Sylvaterre-Timms Lake Road and drive north for about five km. Turn right onto Marlow Track and follow it for about two km where there are some aboriginal rock wells on your right, due south of Riegal Rock. The wells and the base of Riegal Rock (Byrne Hill) often afford good birding. Look for raptors, including Little Eagle, Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel and Brown Goshawk. Occasionally, Black Falcon is observed here. Each year, Wedgetailed Eagles nest in the district. This is a great area for Everlasting in Spring if the Winter has been a wet one.

Occasionally, Cockatiels are observed in this area.

Stop Five: Rogers Track
Drive back to the Sylvaterre-Lake Timms Road and turn right. Drive north until you see Squire Track on your left. Drive west along Squire Track which becomes Rogers Track. About a kilometre along this track there is a dam on your right (the north side of the track). It is worth stopping in this vicinity. In summer, look for Budgerigars, woodswallows and honeyeaters. In dry weather, many birds may come to the dam for a drink. Retrace your journey back to Sylvaterre-Lake Timms Road (Mitiamo Forest Road) and turn right back towards Mitiamo. Turn right at a crossroad onto the Mologa-Echuca Road.

Stop Six: Eastern Boundary of the forested area
Continue along the Mologa-Echuca Road to the eastern boundary fence. Stop here. Tracks lead north and south. The track heading south is usually affords outstanding birding opportunities, especially early in the morning. Robins, flycatchers and Southern Whiteface are often seen on the fences, particularly in winter when southerly or westerly winds are blowing. Grey-crowned Babblers sometimes frequent this area.

If you do not wish to visit the grasslands, you could do a U-turn and drive west along the Mologa-Echuca Road through the park, stopping at the western edge of the park (good area for Black-chinned Honeyeater) and/or continue through Mologa (abandoned township) and across a railway line. On the western side of the railway line is a patch of Eremophila which, when the bushes are in flower, sometimes supports some of the less-common honeyeaters of the region. Alternatively visit Fabians paddock or return to Mitiamo.

Stop Seven: Fabians Paddock
Continuing east on the Mologa-Echuca Road, you come to the Mitiamo-Kow Swamp Road. If you turn left and drive for 4km, at Regal Road junction, you reach the southerly paddocks of the Park's indigenous grasslands.Keep an eye out for Black Falcons as a pair often nest in a clump of trees not far from the road. A further 3.5km along the road, on your right, is the old Davies homestead. One of the best grassland paddocks is 'Fabians', on the south side of Leahys Ferris Road. Key species to look for include Brown Songlark, Skylark, Horsfield's Bushlark and Australasian Pipit. Please do not drive on the paddocks.

If travelling back to Echuca, you might drive south on the Mitiamo-Kow Swamp Road back to the Echuca-Mitiamo Road.

If you intend to visit The Meadows, drive south along Kow Swamp Road to Mologa-Echuca Road and follow it east until you reach Mount Terricks Road. Follow Mount Terricks Road north-east toward Echuca until you reach the intersection with Davis Road (which is not clearly signposted).

Especially in wet weather, avoid using Clee Road, Davis Road, Tomara Road and other roads labelled as dry-weather only. These unsealed roads really are useable only when they are dry.

Stop Eight: The Meadows Wildlife Area
Following rainy periods, The Meadows Wildlife Area often provides outstanding birding opportunities. This block is located alongside Davis Road but, unlike nearby grassland paddocks, is not part
of the national park. It is only accessible when Davis Road is dry.

Birds observed here in 2011 included Black-tailed Native Hen, Stubble Quail, Australasian Grebe, Reed Warbler, White-winged Fairy-wren, Spotted Crake and Spotless Crake, Red-kneed Dotterel, Black-[fronted Dotterel, Pink-eared Duck, Grey Teal, Little Grassbird, Southern Whiteface, Banded Lapwing, Nankeen Kestrel and Swamp Harrier.

Return to Mount Terricks Road and follow it either to Mitiamo or to Echuca.

 

Inland and endangered birds
Inland and endangered birds likely to be observed in the Park include Gilbert's Whistler, Ringneck Parrot, Cockatiel, Diamond Firetail, Grey-crowned Babbler, White-browed Babbler and Brown Tree Creeper. Painted and Black Honeyeaters, and Chestnut-crowned Babblers have been sighted in the park on several occasions, e.g, in Eremophila plants just west of the railway crossing at Mologa.

Inland Dotterel, Australian Pratincole and Orange Chat have been sighted on some of the outlying grassland parts of the Park.

Toilets and tables are available in the Park's picnic ground at in Mitiamo. There is a store in Mitiamo.

The best seasons of the year to visit the Park are Autumn and Spring. Mid summer can be very hot.

(by Keith Stockwell; revised by Peter Allan, March 2006; minor amendments December 2009 and January 2012)

iinkClick here to enter the Terrick Terrick National Park page on this site

Area number ten
Lake Boga area
We do not have a pdf file on birding in the Lake Boga area.
Brochure: Birds of the Mid Murray (published by Mid Murray Field Naturalists Club and available from Visitor Information Centres in Kerang, Cohuna, Echuca, Lake Boga and elsewhere)
A good road map is needed in order to locate the following places.

Stop One: park alongside Murray Valley Highway, Lake Boga
A suggested starting point is park between the Murray Valley Highway and Lake Boga. There are toilets here.

Stop Two: Round Lake
It is usually worth checking out Round Lake and the bushland surrounding it. Apart from waterbirds, look for Babblers. This lake either supports lots of waterbirds or is quite disappointing.

Stop Three: Tresco West Bushland Reserve
The bushland around the Lake Boga Golf Club usually affords outstanding birding. Look for Blue Bonnet and Australian Ringneck. The webmeister has prepared notes about this reserve. These can be accessed via the reserves page. The Mid Murray Field Naturalist Club is working to remove weeds and rubbish from this terrific reserve. In summer, there may be lots of waders on the adjoining lakes.

Stop Four: Goschen Reserve
Goschen Reserve is an area of remnant bushland in a sea of cleared farmland. There was a small settlement here once but the Church and school have been removed and the hall is rarely, if ever, used. Birds observed in this bushland area often include Budgerigar, Cockatiel, Crested Bellbird, Grey-crowned Babbler, Blue Bonnet, Peaceful Dove, White-fronted Honeyeater, Pied Honeyeater, Black Honeyeater, Brown Tree-creeper and, at times, wood-swallows. There are notes and links on the webmeister's parks pages (access via our reserves page).

Thomas and Thomas have notes about Goschen, starting on page 21 of the second edition.

Return to Lake Boga

Stop Five: north side of Lake Boga
Often not many birds can be seen on Lake Boga from the roadside park. Away from the busy highway, shallower areas of Lake Boga sometimes support waders. Look for Buff-banded Rail in the woodland near the lake.

Stop Six: Lake Tutchewop
Sometimes this saline lake supports waders that can tolerate salty water. The marshland alongside Lake Tutchewop is a good place to look for Chats. Birding here is hard yakka at times but often fruitful in the end.

Area number 11
Kerang area
linkClick here to download a copy of our brochure to birding sites of Kerang

linkA brochure entitled Birds of the Mid Murray has been published by Mid Murray Field Naturalists Club and available from Visitor Information Centres in Kerang, Cohuna, Echuca, Lake Boga and elsewhere.


Good birding spots near Kerang include Kerang Weir, the bird hide alongside the Murray Valley Highway, Foster Swamp, Macdonald Swamp (sometimes dry), Lake Murphy (often dry), Lake Elizabeth (permanent), Round Lake (a permanent lake at edge of Lake Boga township), Sandhill Lake (usually dry) and Lake Cullen and Lake Bael Bae (both often dry)l.

Lake Tutchewop is located between Lake Boga township, Lake Charm township and Benjeroop. When it contains water, the saline water attracts such birds as Banded Stilt and Red-neckled Avocet. A Long-billed Dowitcher was sighted on the lake in November 2014 and remained on the lake for several months. This lake relies upon water from salty Barr Creek. Look for Chats grazing on the xerophytic ground vegetation.

There are extensive areas of indigenous grassland which provides habitat for Plains-wanderer, Stubble Quail, Brown Songlark, Horsfield's Bushlark, Rufous Songlark and Skylark. Australian Pratincole is occasionally sighted on the grasslands.

 

Finale
Sewage Ponds and Evaporative Ponds (waste water treatment facilities)
One of the best places to see birds are the ponds in sewage farms. The ponds at Epsom are particularly good. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to legally access such facilities and whether we like it or not we are obliged to comply with the rules and laws covering such facilities.

It is also near to impossible to gain permission to enter the evaporative ponds at Tullakool. A public viewing platform built alongside one of the ponds at Tullakool (as part of a triavian corridor) gives limited visibility only of part of the area.

District Birding Spots

 

 

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Mail address: Secretary, BirdLife Echuca District, 11 Hillview Ave MOAMA 2731
This site was established during 1996. Latest version: January 2012.