We are travelling around this great country, lots of great scenery and of course, birds. Message
  • Aug12

    Chinchilla Weir camping area.

    August 12 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    It's been a while since we viewed from this point. The local council has done a massive upgrade with world class landscaping and properly designated camping area. There is a new toilet block to complete the impressive area.

    This is a popular place to stop for a night or two and includes some powered sites. Lots of native plants are thriving in the areas surrounding the day area. In a few years it will provide a haven for many birds.

    Today is very windy with gusts up to 25kph and over. I launched the Sparrow (DJI Mini) for 2 minutes to about 30m for a couple of photos of the impressively full lake formed behind the weir.
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  • Aug12

    Chinchilla Weir

    August 12 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    Today was another visit to Chinchilla Weir. Another place that has had improvements made. Again picnic tables beside the water, a new pontoon, gardens and drive-through van sites, some with power. The weir has been overflowing for about the last six months and it looks quite spectacular seeing it like this. The egrets are spread out over the water - around the edges, in the trees and along the overflow - like sentinels.

    Great Egret
    Intermediate Egret
    Little Egret
    Laughing Kookaburra
    Grey Teal
    Nankeen Night-heron
    Australasian Darter
    Royal Spoonbill
    Welcome Swallow
    Magpie-lark
    Australian Magpie
    Little Pied Cormorant
    Little Black Cormorant
    Torresian Crow
    Apostlebird
    Galah
    Willie Wagtail
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  • Aug10

    Caliguel Lagoon

    August 10 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We have camped at Caliguel Lagoon a couple of times but we're not prepared for the massive upgrade. It is now an A1 spot with barbecues, toilets and much more. There are even a few powered sites.

    And it is still no cost to stay a night or two!
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  • Aug10

    Chinaman Lagoon

    August 10 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Chinaman Lagoon is a nice spot for a picnic when passing through Miles. Today we walked to this lagoon from Dogwood Bridge, a distance of only 2k.

    You can check out Pam's bird observations as we walked this track. on the bird tracks section.Read more

  • Aug10

    Dogwood Cemetery (historic)

    August 10 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    DOGWOOD CEMETERY

    (Text from the info Sign)

    The tree-lined banks of Dogwood Creek were an idyllic setting for the last resting place of Miles' early settlers. When it was chosen as the local cemetery no one realised how often the site would flood. For some thirty years from about 1878, it was the town's only cemetery.

    Martha Barraclough died from a miscarriage and complications on 24 March 1878. She was 31 years old and left a husband, Edward, and five young children. Her burial is the earliest recorded at Dogwood Creek cemetery. The Barraclough's worked on the railways line construction. As a nurse, Martha cared for sick railway workers at the local camp. Her headstone was probably washed away during one of the many floods that rushed through this otherwise picturesque cemetery.

    Michael Fogarty, the first chairman of the former Murilla Shire Council, publican of the Queensland Hotel, and a local shop owner, was 65 years old.

    when he died in 1909. Several years later his wife, Kate, then 70 years old was buried alongside him. In 1913, Bridget Fogarty, Michael's mother, died and was buried at Dogwood Creek cemetery. She was 98 years old.

    The Lawton Brothers were renowned within the region for their horsemanship, so much so that James Lawton (1866-1913) was sent to the Boer War to work with the horses. On his return in 1903, James Lawton purchased the Queensland Hotel from Michael Fogarty for £4000 ($8000). His brother, William Henry (died 1908), and nephew, William Wallace (died 1920), are also buried at Dogwood Creek cemetery.

    Ann Bourne (died 1906, aged 71 years) and Henry (died 1909, aged 75 years) travelled by bullock dray from Victoria in the 1880s. They took up Hookswood Station (518 square kilometres) in 1883 and also ran a butcher's shop in Miles.

    Acknowledgement to Mr Gordon Grimwade & Associates and Mrs Merlene Coates Freeman for their help and assistance with this information.
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  • Aug10

    Dogwood Creek Walking Track, Miles Qld

    August 10 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    It is a lovely walk along this creek, a concrete pathway all the way. You could start at either end - Moraby Park or Chinamans Lagoon. To do the return gives you a walk of around 4km. For a birdwatcher, there is plenty to keep you entertained.

    Birds along the Track

    Australian Raven
    Magpie Lark
    Striated Pardalote
    Superb Fairy Wren
    Red back Fairy Wren
    Rufous Whistler
    Grey Fantail
    Willie Wagtail
    Peaceful Dove
    Grey Crowned Babbler
    Domestic Geese
    Australian Wood Duck
    Red-winged Parrot
    Little Corella
    Fairy Martin
    White necked herron
    White Faced Herron
    Crested Pigeon
    Peaceful Dove
    Double Barred Finch
    Intermediate Egret
    Australian Magpie
    Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike
    Noisy Friarbird
    Pied Currawong
    Galah
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    Traveler

    Love your photographs Pam

    8/22/22Reply
     
  • Aug10

    Dogwood Creek Bridge, Miles.

    August 10 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We parked the var at the rest area an decided it was nice weather for a walk along the Dogwood walking track. The are was alive with many birds and also some domestic Geese who wanted to be our friends. When we walked over the footbridge and along the other side, two swam across to meet us.Read more

  • Aug10

    Cactoblastis monument

    August 10 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Cactoblastis was very important in eradicating thousands of acres of prickly Pear. This thorny cactus grew very well and made good grazing land useless. This "monument" has lots of info.

    (from the info on display)
    "The Shanti"

    On August 2nd 1909, Thomas Alfred Colellar) signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Samuel Marsden for the purchase of 1280 acres being portions 40V and 46V, Parish of Colamba, County of Chinchilla for £120. The down payment was £1, the residual being "cash upon transfer of Lease". He named the property "The Shanti" after their home in England.

    TA. Cole Jnr along with his wife, son Tom and Father T.A. Cole Sur had arrived in Australia in April 1909 intent of farming. Diary quote "Selected land on account of water...creek...lagoons. advised in England to take land with plenty of water if possible." They found themselves surrounded with prickly pear and so began a fight to cut, burn and poison the pear in an attempt to clearland. Burning was done on large straddles of wood.

    Diary: "Considered myself trapped on this property, deliberately by the Government as they should have known, the conditions imposed were worse than slavery and impossible to be accomplished and any smaller area would not have been sufficient to make a living on, according to market valuations and commodities. Conditions imposed meant 20,000tons of P.P. per annum and keep clean. Ranger Killet advised he would not recommend 2/6 acre but would recommend £10 if I applied. Wrote to Old Land to block other good settlers coming until I could do anything to remedy the position I found myself in."

    In 1912, TA. Cole was "Requested to accept position as Foreman of Works under Dr Jean White testing about 943 plots to various compositions. Vapour, so called gases" at the Government Experimental Station in Dulacca. He worked there until 1915 and the station closed in early 1916 when Dr White-Haney resigned. "Under the most practicable methods of chemical or mechanical treatment, dense prickly pear could not be eradicated at a cost of less than £10 per acre". (Dodd) This would be impossible to sustain.

    In 1922 the laboratory building from Dulacca was transported to Chinchilla Hospital where it was used as an operating theatre.

    On returning from Dulacca, the TA. Coles...Snr, Jnr and son Tom continued to work at clearing the land until 1923 when the family moved into a house in town. "The Shanti" was then occupied by officers of the newly formed Commonwealth Prickly Pear Board. T.A. Cole 3rd (Tom) became a Field Assistant at this time, 1924, with the Commonwealth Prickly Pear Board. He worked at: Chinchilla, Gogango and the lab in Sherwood. In 1936, young Tom returned to the research lab in Sherwood and continued working there as a specialist in pear eradication throughout SW Queensland. At the time of his retirement in the 1972, he was the last member of the Technical staff of the old Commonwealth Prickly Pear Board still working actively in the field.

    When the Field Station at Chinchilla closed in 1936, T.A Cole's son in law, Sandy Bullock was the last Officer-in-charge. The cages and sheds were dismantled - with the exception of one large shed which was left on the farm and is there today. The property reverted to a dairy farm and in recent years to a grazing property.

    Passages quoted here are from the Diary of TA. Cole 2nd

    =========================

    Chinchilla Fjeld Station - The Bug Farm

    In 1923, Entomologists from the Commonwealth Prickly Pear Board moved into "The Shanti". From 1923-36, it became the Chinchilla Field Station - or locally, "the bug farm".

    Alan Dodd, whose father Frederick Dodd was known as the "butterfly man of Kuranda" (Nth Qld), was Officer-in-charge 1923-24. In 1924-25 he went as Senior Entomologist in the United States, Argentine and Uruguay, in search of insects to attack the pear. It was A.P. Dodd who rediscovered Cactoblastis cactorum in Uruguay and Northern Argentine. Full grown larvae collected at Concordia, Entre Rio at the end of January 1925 were taken to Buenos Aires. When the moths emerged in February, a total of 3000 eggs were placed on pear in Wardian cases and the consignment dispatched by steamer in March en route to Australia via Capetown.

    The South African Department in Agriculture examined the consignment and reported that the material was in good condition. Before re-consigning the shipment, they removed a few colonies of larvae as a reserve in the event of mishap to the consignment before its destination, Sydney. Hence the original and only importation into Australia was 2750 eggs. The consignment reached Sherwood Laboratory in May 1925 and was opened in the Quarantine insectories at Sherwood, in excellent condition. It had travelled for 10 weeks unaccompanied.

    The cage rearing of C. cactorum on a large scale under cage conditions was carried out for eighteen months only. Wire-guaze cages, mostly 6ft by 3ft by 3ft high, were filled with Opunita inermis. Between 800 and 1000 eggs were placed in each cage. When prickly pear segments rotted, they were removed; if the decay reached considerable proportions, additional pear was provided. The 100600 eggs obtained from the Argentine material were divided between Sherwood, with 71960, and Chinchilla, with 28 640 eggs. In the space of two years since the despatch of the eggs from Argentina, during which period 4 generations had been completed, cage rearing resulted in the liberation of approximately 10200000 eggs.

    Many people from the local community were involved in the working of the 'Bug Farm. They collected cocoons and eggsticks and weighed, quilled and packed the eggs ready for distribution thus playing a vital role in this valuable work.. despite the presence of death adders in the pear!

    From 1925-39 Alan Dodd was Officer-in-charge of all operations. He returned to the Chinchilla Field Station in 1925 and worked there until its closure in 1936 at which time he returned to the Sherwood Laboratory. He continued to work at Sherwood until his retirement.

    "The first prickly pear plant in Australia to be destroyed by Cactoblastis cactorum was at Chinchilla in September 1926, six months after the original liberation of eggs had been made." (Fittingly, this was on the property of Mr Harling who delivered dray-loads of pear for use in the cages, mc)

    This iactual information has been reproduced from The Balogical Campaign against Prickly Pees the 1940 report was written by AP Dudd Aroug of this may be found in the Chrachille Library.

    Other displays may be seen as the Mad at the Poonage Hall In the report, Dodd refers to the re-introduction of Cacoblastis cactorums. This is because Mr Henry Trum, who travelled 18 months as part of a man travelling Commission inching for insects that would attack the prickly pear actually found the lorrow in 1914 in the Botanical Garden La Plata, Argantian Me Tryon was so impressed with the potential of this imect, has collected and heongst a small number alive in Brisbane. Undortunately the larvae did not prosper and died before ching the pupal stage.
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  • Aug9

    Round Waterhole

    August 9 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Dusky Moorhen
    Grey Teal
    Australian Wood Duck
    Pacific Black Duck
    Intermediate Egret
    Little Corella
    Australasian Darter
    Red-backed Fairy Wren
    Superb Fairy Wren
    Little Pied Cormorant

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