Leaders. David and Lyn Munro. A whole day 1 bus trip.
Tour to the west of the campsite to take in the natural history at the Dunkeld Rifle Range (excellent for orchids),
Victoria Point, McCutcheons Road, the Wannon River at Cavendish, McIntyre Crossing and Bryans Swamp.
Rifle Range. The bus left the Grampians Retreat about 9.30 am and travelled to the Rifle Range. What a wonderful, wonderful area this is.
It should be renamed to something like “Orchid Wonderland”. Coming from the Mallee area of NSW. I was “blown away” by the array of orchids,
lilies, sun orchids which were in the hundreds. Heaths, wattles, dianellas, daisies, prickly grevilleas, blue stars, hibbertias, running postman
(I love this plant), goodenias, Banksia marginata, Dillwynis.<\p>
A continual chorus of bird sounds continually filled the air as we wandered. My brain and eyes felt as if they were in overdrive as I tried to take in
this smorgasboard of plants and bird calls – however we had to leave this magical place – why? Because our guide Dave said so!
We travelled on looking at more plants, birds and everything else etc., stopping at Cavendish for lunch. On the return journey we stopped at several
roadside locations with more exciting plants. Our final stop for the day was Bryan Swamp. Another great place! I couldn’t seem to open my eyes wide enough
to absorb all the water, and more water. Living in an area which has been in drought and semi-drought for 10-12 years and all the lakes and swamps have
been dry for years, and of course all the waterbirds – of which there was an abundance – had long since gone, this was truly a “sight for sore eyes”.
The frogs growling, croaking and squeaking was truly magic as it is many years since I’ve heard these sounds.
Unfortunately, this wonderful, magical day – for me at least – had to end (Dave again). This day will remain in my memory for a long time to come
as I return to the ongoing drought. Thank you Dave for a lovely day and for your extensive knowledge of everything.
Nancy Foley, Koraleigh, NSW (Mid-Murray FNC).
We are now at Cavendish having had lunch and about to begin our afternoon excursion. The bus is comfortable, leaders willing and helpful
and weather okay – grey and cool but not too windy for photos (or us). It has been lovely to be driven on country back-roads which are very scenic.
I love the big old Red Gums in green, green grass and the wetlands and rivers are all with water such a change from recent years.
It’s great to have locals to drive and guide us. Settler’s Walk at Cavendish is a credit to the local volunteers.
The stop after lunch was at the roadside reserve just out of Cavendish. Again a wide variety of plants could be seen but the highlight was David Munro’s
description of one specimen Acacia exudens. This plant had recently been separated from Varnish Wattle. The phyllodes were shiny like varnish and had two
We stopped on the Cavendish-Dunkeld Road to look at Golden Moths on the roadside grassland. One of the field naturalists almost stood on a
Copperhead Snake that was sunning itself. The snake got such a fright as well as the person, it buried its head in a hole. A few minutes later we
sighted a Black-shouldered Kite hovering. We also saw Mountain Duck, Early Nancies, Milkmaids and Fairies’ Aprons.
Observations – Dunkeld Rifle Range(with help from Geoff Lacey)
Caldenia venusta x greencomb
Bird list for the whole trip
Australian Magpie (serenading at Cavendish)
Black Swan (200 Bryan Swamp)
Black-tailed Native Hen
Brown Goshawk (not confirmed)
Emu (several locations)
Fantail Cuckoo (Rifle Range)
Little Black Cormorant
New Holland Honey-eater
Rufous Whistler (Rifle Range)
Scarlet Robin (Rifle Range)
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Rifle Range / Grampians Retreat)
Superb fairy Wren (Rifle Range)
Whistling Kite (6 at least at Bryans Swamp)
Frogs at Bryans Swamp). Growling Grass Frog (most predominant species heard, Pobble-bonk, Common Froglet
Mammal.Echidna (Victoria Valley Road)