It’s always good to get a contribution from someone other than your regular scribe, especially when it tells of an interesting wildlife observation or encounter, or a new wildlife viewing spot. One such location was discovered quite recently by Jon Luly – those of you who came on our trip to Jerona last year will remember him as our very informative guide. While Torrens Creek is further than we usually travel for our monthly trips, those of you likely to be heading west for any reason should take the time to check out what’s a-swimming on the town’s very own wetland. And maybe in 2017 we could think about a weekend trip incorporating the fascinating Burra Range with a visit to this hidden gem. Thanks, Jon, for the report and the photos – click on each one to enlarge.
For most of us, the best thing about Torrens Creek is that driving through it is over gratifyingly quickly. There’s the highway, a pub, a few houses and not a lot else. Oh, there’s also a rubbish tip and an enigmatic wetland, and herein lies a tale.
In a region where water is scarce, wetlands are a rare commodity and collect birds the way ferrets collect rabbits. The wetland at Torrens Creek is no exception. Despite its questionable origins (it’s probably a sewage treatment area) and proximity to the tip, it is a haven for water birds in search of refuge from the drought. I found the place by accident a few weeks ago and was astonished to find it seething with life. Hoary-headed and little grebes were paddling about, there were heaps of coots and black ducks, a few hardhead ducks, some wood ducks. Best of all were the pink-eared ducks and grey teal which trailed little flotillas of ducklings in their wake.
To get there, leave civilisation and drive down the Flinders Highway towards Mount Isa. On arrival in Torrens Creek, turn right into Maude St, left into Bedford Street and head for the tip. The wetland will be on your right – you can’t miss it!