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Around Canberra

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 24 January 2024 | Views [81]

Spotless Crake, Jerrabomberra Wetlands

Spotless Crake, Jerrabomberra Wetlands

SUNDAY WAS OUR LONGEST DRIVE YET—450 kilometers from Bairnsdale through Victoria and New South Wales into the Australian Capital Territory. This is the final week of the Christmas school break and lodging at holiday destinations are scarce and expensive. Canberra, on the other hand, is relatively deserted with some great AirBnB deals and we booked one for a week in the suburb of Brandon. 


                Our High-Rise AirBnB

Canberra reminds us a little of Boulder, Colorado. No, it doesn’t have the Flatirons or Boulder’s funkiness but there are always people walking, running or biking. There are two wetland parks within Canberra and the city is also surrounded by at least four National Parks, more on the model of America’s National Forests than Parks. 


                   Superb Parrot


                     Gang-Gang Cockatoo

nn     nn

          A wasted trip . . . But not as bad as it could have been

  We could have walked to North Watson Wetlands on Monday—it’s that close to our digs—where we managed to photograph a pair of Superb Parrots. The Gang-Gang Cockatoos were a bonus. We didn’t do as well at Namadgi National Park, about 50km away much of it on unpaved roads. We heard plenty of Pilot Birds—even saw a few in our two visits—but they are among the shyest on our target list and we still don’t have any pictures. We also heard several Lyrebirds, same result. At least we didn’t meet the same fate that this guy did.


                   Baillon's Crake


                 Golden-Headed Cistacola


                       Common Bush-tailed Possum


                       Black-Shouldered Kite

  My favorite spot was Jerrabomberra Wetlands. It’s only a ten minutes away and is filled with birds. There are a couple miles of trails and three or four bird hides. In two visits we saw 40 species plus a  Bush-tailed Possum. Right at the top of Connie’s list were an Australian Crake and our first photos ever of a Spotless Crake and Ballion’s Crake.


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