The dirt road from Sturt NP to Noccundra was in good condition so we made good progress. While having morning tea along the road we were entertained by a couple of calling Crested Bellbirds. Further along the road there were big numbers of Black-faced Woodswallows and Black Kites. These were mainly congregating around the road works along a big stretch of the road.
The first stop the following day was Lake Bindegolly National Park. We've been fortunate to see this lake both empty and full in the past so we knew what to expect with the waters only slightly lower than last year. As soon as we stopped Brogas could be heard in the direction of the free camp on the other side of the road. Unfortunately they were disturbed by campers before we got near, or maybe it was us. I didn't bother adding to my bum shot collection as they disappeared into the distance.
Water birds were prolific with nesting Great Crested Grebes, Australasian Grebes, Darters, Cormorants and Black Swans being the dominant species.
This was our fourth visit to Bowra in the last two years and the first since the Australian Wildlife Conservancy took over the property. The actual day to day running of the sanctuary is undertaken by volunteers from Birds Queensland. On arrival we were greeted by the the current manager and shown where to camp.
Thankfully the lagoon contained some water, which was not the case on the last visit. The mistake I'd often made in the past was to neglect the area around the lagoon in preference for the far reaches of the property. So on arrival I made an effort to photograph the resident lagoon birds and any others that came in for a late afternoon drink. On the lagoon there were Black-winged Stilts, Straw-necked Ibis, a Black-fronted Dotterel and Grey Teals. During the stay a small flock of Red Rumps, Red-winged Parrots and a few Galahs came in for a drink, or to just check the place out. I also had a visit from the resident Restless Flycatchers, which are always fun to photograph.
The next day with the property map in hand we headed out to find a few of the specialities. It didn't take long to find six Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush exactly where the map indicated. The little buggers didn't want their photograph taken, so yet again came away with shots for my bum shot gallery. As for the other rarities we didn't have much luck so settled for some quiet time by the Gumholes. There were White-backed Swallows, Welcome Swallows and White-breasted Woodswallows chasing insects overhead.
It was surprising to find Ian still had cattle on the property. Also there were large numbers of feral goats and pigs seen around the property. I know progress was being made in this regard, with a big number of goats removed just before we got there. I'm not sure if the pig eradication program was working as it seemed that the hunters were concentrating on the big animals and leaving the small pigs behind. Maybe they were looking to the future.