The caravan park in Orroroo was small but neat and tidy. It overlooks Pekina Creek, which has a dam upstream from the town, featured by a Lions Club park and walking tracks. A great place for an early morning walk. We headed north from there, bought fuel at Leigh Creek [$1.55] then hit the Oodnadatta Track at Marree. The track had been freshly graded and re-opened since rain a few weeks prior. It was excellent driving. Better than parts of the Princes Highway between Melbourne and Sale!!
Russell and Annette have a "rule" about travelling in that they try to be at camp by 16hr00. This gives plenty of light [2 - 2 1/2hrs] to set up camp and cook tea. We reached Coward Springs in plenty of time and got a site for two vehicles. There is a thermal artesian spring with a tempering value so that it floats at a reasonable rate. It is warm and relaxing. The overflow, which used to be a couple of hundred acres or more in the Coward Spring heyday of a township with hotels, is now about a third of that size but it has lots of birdlife.
|Red-kneed Dotterel Erythrogonys cinctus|
|Australian Spotted Crake Porzana fluminea|
This crake was seen two mornings running just on the edge of the sedges and rushes and was totally unconcerned by my presence. On the second morning, with the rising sun behind me, I stood in the creek to get better photos, only ten metres away. A different reaction from the crakes of Maffra Swamp or Lake Guthridge.
|Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola|
Of course, where there is water there are insects and insectivorous birds. I find martins and swallows impossible to photograph whilst flying. Them, not me! Perhaps one day.
|Tree Martin Petrochelidon nigricans|
|Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena|
|House Sparrow Passer domesticus|
Finally, as I was making my way slowly and very quietly a few hundred metres away from the outflow, I came upon this fellow, by himself, carefully looking for seeds in the dry grasses on the edge of the dry mudflats. Another life tick. Woohoo. P&K describes the stubble quail as nomadic, irruptive and part-migratory and only in NT in good seasons.
|Stubble Quail Coturnix pectoralis|
* BLCA is an excellent group and they have great FB posts. Have a look here. Please let me know if it doesn't work. https://www.facebook.com/groups/177351852452872
Magic! t1250 and be there.