There are usually numbers of Pelicans all around the bay. However, when there is rain and floods in the outback and the inland lakes fill the Pelicans go out there to breed. This year the floods were extra big and the Pelicans have been gone for months! I read that there were 30,000 Pelicans breeding on Lake Wyara which is part of the Currawinya National Park. (Of course, there are even larger numbers of birds breeding on the larger lakes further inland but these parts of the country really need a 4 wheel drive vehicle just to get there!) The roads around Currawinya National Park are low and they are still flooded and inaccessible even to 4 wheel drive vehicles. However, Kilcowera Station shares a boundary with the National Park and Lake Wyara is right on this boundary. The land on this western side of the lake is higher and the access to the lake is easier - however, it is still 4 wheel drive access. The owners of Kilcowera Station take tours out to Lake Wyara when requested and we decided that this would be great for us. I would have been happy just to have been taken out to see the Pelicans on Lake Wyara but the tour with Toni Sherwin was even better. We left at 9am and were out all day until after 4pm. We were driven over a large portion of the station. Of course Toni knew the history of the area and this was very interesting. She also knew where birds could be expected to be seen and kept stopping and showing us birds and bird habitat that we certainly would not have found by ourselves. All in all we thought the tour was very good value for money!
Lake Wyara was beautiful! The Pelicans were breeding on the far side of the lake and we could see a hazy white line of birds stretching for kilometers. There were Pelicans swimming on the lake and Pelicans flying overhead. There were also large numbers of other water-birds swimming on the lake and perching on any available vegetation. We saw Black Swans with their young, and numbers of Cormorants, Coots, and Ducks. Most of the birds were quite a distance away and it was not possible to ID them all. We also saw a number of Red-capped Plovers running at the edge of the lake. These are a common bird here on the bay as well. All of the photos will enlarge when clicked on and I have left most of them as quite big photos.
We then drove to another part of the lake where there was lower land at the edge of the lake and more saltmarsh plants growing. I found a couple of species that looked the same (or similar) to ones that grow in the saltmarsh areas here on the coast. However, there were plants that we don't get out here on the coast and I have never seen saltmarsh plants with such a variety of colors. It was a beautiful sight! As we walked over the area we could smell the perfume from the plants which were flowering. Pelicans did not seem to be using this part of the lake but we saw a greater variety of other water-birds here.An Australian Pipit was walking around among the flowers and a Black-fronted Dotterel was running on the sand at the edge of the lake.For more bird photos visit the Bird Photography Weekly.