Tour to Cavendish

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
clear veins.

Anon 1

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.

Anon 2

Observations – Dunkeld Rifle Range(with help from Geoff Lacey)

Acacia verticillata

Astroloma conostioides

Chamaescilla corymbosa

Goodenia geniculata

Grevillea aquifolium

Hibbertia fascicularis

Hibbertia riparia

Leptospermum myrsinoides

Microseris lanceolata

Monotoca scoparia

Pimelia humilis


Caladenia carnea

Caladenia gracilis

Caldenia venusta

Caldenia venusta x greencomb

Caldenia clavigera

Calochilus robertsoni

Diuris pardina

Diuris chryseopsis

Diuris orientis

Glossodia major

Pterostylis nutans

Thelymitra antennifera


Shining Bronze-Cuckoo

Fan-tailed Cuckoo

Rufous Whistler

White-throated Tree-creeper

Bird list for the whole trip

Australian ibis

Australian Kestrel

Australian Magpie (serenading at Cavendish)

Australian Shoveller

Black Duck

Black Swan (200 Bryan Swamp)

Black-shouldered Kite

Black-tailed Native Hen

Brown Falcon

Brown Goshawk (not confirmed)

Brown Thornbill

Chestnut Teal

Common Bronzewing

Crimson Rosella

Eastern Rosella

Emu (several locations)

Fantail Cuckoo (Rifle Range)


Great Egret

Grey Fantail

Grey Shrike-thrush


Little Black Cormorant

Little Raven

Long-billed Corella

Musk Duck

New Holland Honey-eater

Pied Currawong

Royal Spoonbill

Rufous Whistler (Rifle Range)

Scarlet Robin (Rifle Range)

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Rifle Range / Grampians Retreat)



Straw-necked Ibis

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Superb fairy Wren (Rifle Range)

Swamp Harrier

Welcome Swallow

Whistling Kite (6 at least at Bryans Swamp)

White-faced Heron

White-throated tree-creeper

Wood Duck

Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Frogs at Bryans Swamp). Growling Grass Frog (most predominant species heard, Pobble-bonk, Common Froglet

Mammal.Echidna (Victoria Valley Road)