Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:00

Kilcowera Station

Written by

I first found out about Kilcowera Station  as a potential location for bird photography after reading anarticlesubmitted to Birding-Aus byCarol Probets. She had visited the property in July 2008. The recent heavy rains meant that many of the local roads had only opened to traffic a week or two earlier so it was with some trepidation that we set out on this trip to far south western Qld. The country looked magniificent, so different to the drought parched country we had visited last year.

We visited Bowra Station near Cunnamulla before travelling on to Kilcowera on this trip and though there were many more birds than on our previous visit, it was very pleasing to see some of the western birds such as Crimson Chats and Bourke Parrots that we did not see on Bowra. We were so impressed with our stay on Kilcowera that we have another visit planned for June. One thing is for sure, if you decide to visit Kilcowera you will be made to feel welcome by the owners Greg and Toni Sherwin. Don't forget to check out their web site at kilcowera.com.au

Location

Located 90 km south of Thargomindah on the Dowling track, a dirt road that is normally accessible by 2 wheel drive, however after recent heavy rains some sections of this road were a bit rough. On the station itself a lot of the tracks beyond the homestead would only be suitable for a high clearance vehicle. The eastern boundary adjoins semipermanent Lake Wyara which is part of Currawinya National Park.

JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use Google Maps.
However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser.
To view Google Maps, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options, and then try again.

Take plenty of fuel if you intend staying for an extended period as it is a very large property (49,733 ha., three times the size of Bowra) with significant distances to many of the photographic sites.

Accommodation

The standard of accommodation is excellent with the option of modern shearers quarters or camping on a green lawn watered by bore water. There were also more remote bush camping spots available. Hot showers and laundry facilities were available. An internet connection was accessible via our Telstra Next G wireless broadband, though you may need to search for a spot to receive a signal.

Habitat

Killcowera is comprised of many varied habitats in its 120,000 acres. These include rocky ridges and gorge country, swamps and billabongs, mulga, shrublands, stony and grass plains, cassia, eremophila and eucalypt woodlands. There was very little flowering during our visit, just a few scattered eremophila (emu bush), so there were not a lot of honeyeaters about. I would expect that when the majority of plants flower later in the year there will a mass flowering with the accompanying honeyeaters. On arrival we received an information pack including a property plant list. Some of the key species growing near the tracks were labelled.


The Birds

With a bird list of approximately 160 species we were not disappointed when we explored the station. During our two full day stay we traversed many of the station tracks in search of photographic opportunities. On the first day we visited Lake Wyara in Currawinya National Park at the far eastern end of the property.On the way to the lake we encountered large flocks of Budgerigars and Woodswallows. While photographing the woodswallows I saw what would prove to be the first of many Red-capped Robins and Crimson Chats. Around the lake edge amongst the low shrubs Orange Chat, pipits and White-winged Fairy-wren were sighted, while overhead squadrons of Pelicans and Straw-necked Ibis flew towards the lake. This was also a good spot for birds of prey. The following day we decided to stay closer to the camp and investigated some of the beautiful waterholes and billabongs. The usual suspects such as cormorants, darters, egrets etc were present. During our short drives we saw several pairs of Bourke Parrots alongside small flocks of Cockatiels feeding on the ground amongst the mulga. Late in the afernoon we returned to the area around the Top Tank to photograph the Major Mitchell's Cockatoos and Corellas that we had seen on the previous day. It also provided an excellent opportunity to photograph the very common Diamond Doves and Brown Falcons. The area around the camping ground was productive as there were plenty of small brown birds, including Southern Whiteface. The campground was also another good spot to see birds of prey circling around throughout much of the day. In dryer times there is a small hide set up near a pond with a permanent water supply. During our visit there was so much water about that the birds were not concentrated around any particular spot with the exception of the Top Tank which seemed to attract the larger cockatoos. A bird list is provided  as part of the information pack on arrival. 

Birds photographed (P) and or seen:

Crimson Chat (P)                                             
Orange Chat (P)                                                Singing Honeyeater (P)                                             
White-plumed Honeyeater Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (P)                                          Yellow-throated Miner
Red-capped Robin (P) Hooded Robin Common Bronzewing(P)
Diamond Dove (P) Crested Pigeon Perigine Falcon
Black Kite (P) Grey Falcon (seen on Dowling Track) Brown Falcon (P)
Brown Goshawk
Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (P) Galah (P)
Little Corella (P) Blue Bonnet Parrot(P) Australian Ringneck
Bourke Parrot (P) Budgerigar (P) Cockatiel(P)
White-browed Woodswallow (P) Masked Woodswallow(P) Black-faced Woodswallw (P)
White-breasted Woodswallow White-winged Fairy-wren (P) Chestnut-crowned Babbler
Zebra Finch (P) AustralasianPipit (P) Willie Wagtail
Australian Raven Southern Boobook Owl  (heard) Welcome Swallow
Jacky Winter Southern Whiteface(P) Brown Treecreeper
Magpie Lark Red-backed Kingfisher Australian Magpie
Crested Bellbird Australian Darter Pied Cormorant
Pacific Black Duck Grey Teal White-necked Heron
Straw-necked Ibis Australasian Grebe Black-winged Stilt
Australian Pelican
More in this category: « Bowra Lawn Hill National Park »