Our travels continue … Birding at Bowra!
Are massive camera lenses the new measure of male virility? Here at Bowra Sanctuary (recently proclaimed as such by Peter Garrett), 16 km west of Cunnamulla I’m surrounded by blokes wielding camera lenses as long as … well, half a metre! Not sure if being able to spout off technical jargon about performance (camera, that is!) cancels out the incongruity of big burly blokes sneaking up on hapless birds (feathered) to photograph them though … Ha! Gotcha!! You’ve got a disturbing mental image now, haven’t you?!?! I don’t DARE unearth my trusty instamatic (yes, that’s why there are no photos accompanying this post – yet) for fear of being laughed out of the campground!
Yes, the action here at Bowra Sanctuary is all about birding – in nearly 5 days my birdwatching mate has seen nearly half the 210 species on the Bowra bird list, including the elusive Hall’s Babbler and Bourke’s parrot (if you want more, just ask via ‘comments’ below!). Those familiar with my partner’s peccadillos will recall his penchant for making Skippy the bush kangaroo noises in an attempt to attract various wildlife – recently these skills, accompanied by a waving white tissue successfully lured two emus towards us until they smelled a rat … Tragically, there’s not much call for emu whisperers these days!
Far more call for feral goat and pig whisperers – the property (previously Bowra Station) has resident populations of both – so much so that I can almost see the point of the magazines such as ‘Bowhunter’ and ‘Bacon Busters’ so readily available in these parts.
And the Peter Garrett connection? The federal government contributed to the purchase of Bowra Sanctuary, so naturally got some return on its investment by creating a good news story for the beleaguered minister, who flew in for the day to attend the ceremony. Can’t wait for the government ‘how good are we’ signs to go up at the boundary fence, gate and anywhere else people will see them spelling out the extent of the feds involvement! I guess there’s no real connection between PG and me – after all, I didn’t spend any taxpayer’s money to get here, and I actually contributed to the local economy. But hey, I’m just a pleb!!
So … here I am at what’s nearly grey nomad bed time (8:15), with a dodgy internet connection that could drop out at any minute, our campsite surrounded by a crazy bull and half wild cows bellowing and moaning to their calves (I hope) with various night birds squawking and carrying on over the lagoon. The temperature’s dropping – possibly to nearly 0 degrees and it’s a bit of a hike to the amenities. BUT … I’ve never seen so many stars, we can travel the station tracks all day without seeing another living soul, and the scenery and bird watching is to die for. Am I having a good time? You betcha!!