Morgan Conservation Park

A relatively rare post from South Australia – this time on Morgan
Conservation Park.
Roly Lloyd & I have been going to Morgan a few times per year for 20+ years
as it was a brilliant place for birds.  During the last major drought, the
wetlands which includes several ha of open water beside the Murray River
completely dried out for several years but filled up a few years ago. 
However very few waterbirds returned. We speculated that was because the
open water wetland was dry for so long all the “little creatures” perished
so there was little food for many of the waterbirds – but we don’t know.
Last Wednesday the water level in the lake had dropped considerably (since
our last visit a month ago) exposing large areas of “mud”. It was great to
see 100s of Pied Stilts, several 100 ducks (5 species) plus lots of other
waterbirds.  A highlight was an adult White-bellied Sea-eagle which flew
over stirring up most of the birds. It is the first time we had seen a
White-bellied Sea-eagle at Morgan (although it is not that uncommon for them
to travel up the Murray). Another highlight was 6 Regent Parrots, surely one
of the most impressive parrots in Australia which we regularly see in the
area (although not always) and is just one of the reasons we keep going back
to Morgan.
As well we saw 10 different “parrot” species over about 30 minutes in the
Morgan Conservation Park. Surely this must be close to a record for all of
Australia ie can anyone quote seeing more than 10 different species of
parrot within 30 minutes anywhere in Australia?

Another Morgan highlight is the extensive mallee nearby; unfortunately,
there is absolutely no doubt that the number of birds in this mallee area
has dropped alarmingly over the last 20 years and the decline of many
species has accelerated in recent years.
Bob Sothman & Roly lloyd



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