Sunday, July 15, 2012


After our Murray-Sunset encounter in early March, we continued on north and west along the Murray River into South Australia with the aim of a visit to Gluepot Reserve, part of a huge area of intact mallee bushland, and managed by Birdlife Australia. 
On our way there one of our overnight stays was in a public park next to the rail line at a little town called Underbool, where we watched the sunset over the grain silos nearby.   

Underbool sunset

A few encounters with some locals gave me a couple of of photo opportunities.   

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

Apostle Birds

Black Kite

After the drive in along the 50km of rough and in parts sandy road, we arrived at the reserve
and got our bearings at the fantastic information centre near the rangers residence.

Gluepot information centre

After finding a suitable camp site we settled in, and made the most of the glorious weather over the next few days, driving the tracks and walking the numerous trails looking for birds and enjoying the unique beauty of our surrounds. 

At the "Babbler" camp site

The watering points scattered through the 126,000 acre reserve are a great way to spot some of the resident bird life and the pigeons below were one of the more prevalent attendees.  

Common Bronze-wings

Grey Currawong

This native shrub was one of the few plants flowering at the time of our visit. 

Unidentified Mallee shrub

A sunning Bearded Dragon is usually an easy subject to photograph, not like some of those pesky things with wings.

Although the two birds below behaved themselves and stayed within range.

Red-Capped Robin - male

Jacky Winter

While we were unsuccessful in locating some of our target species such as the enigmatic Scarlet-chested Parrots that had been seen here in recent times, and the rare Mallee Fowl (not for lack of trying!), a bonus was a small flock of Regent Parrots that landed in a tree close to where I was searching for the SCP's, on our last morning there. Not a tick for the life list, but a bird I had seen only at a distance previously. This race (the other being found in south west WA) is classed as an endangered species and I felt privileged to get a good look at these lovely birds.

Regent Parrots

We had a great stay here and observed close to 50 species all up including 3 lifers: Chestnut Quail-Thrush, White-browed Treecreeper and Gilbert's Whistler. Some great information available at this site:


  1. I have to get to Gluepot one day, it's on my bucket list. Great photos John, those parrots are amazing.

  2. Thanks Wampy. I've heard the best time to go there is in spring (like most places!) It was a little quiet when we were there and we had to work to find the birds.

  3. What a beautiful looking spot. I loved the red-capped robin and regent parrot in particular, as I have never seen either of these! Looks like it was a great trip.

  4. Hi Judi, Red-capped Robin is on the Toowoomba Bird Observers list.
    Could be a possibility in your area?

  5. Good work John! I was there yesterday and things are still a little quite! first time I have been up there and not seen a Mulga Parrot!!! unheard of!! Did get some nice photo's of a Gilbert's Whistler though. We'll done on the Regents they along with the Malleefowl are my Gluepot Bogey birds!I go up there about 5 times a year and am yet to see them! Seen them elsewhere just never at GP!! Seen real rarities like Scarlets and a bird even less often seen in SA: Painted Honeyeaters! but Regents and Malleefowl nope..... not a bad thing though just gives me an extra reason to go back!

  6. Hi Chris, it's handy you live a little closer (we're in SE Qld). It's a wonderful place. Dipping doesn't worry me too much, like you say all the more reason to head back.