Friday, 27 May 2016

Watching the Warrums bungle

The only other time we have been here we thought about the concept of a Warrum and concluded that with a Somerset accent it could be a reference to an annelid.  As will revealed we did get a good look at the Warrumbungle Ranges today.

That followed our eyes defrosting after a very cold night: the car thermometer read 0oC but as all the water had ice on it I suspect that was optimistic.  The noises over night that I was aware of  were:
  • Masked Lapwing;
  • Wood Ducks;
  • Fox; and
  • Rooster.
There were no:
  • Noisy TVs or air conditioners from big caravans;
  • Drunks; or
  • Barking dogs from nearby towns.
Once we had brewed and drunk some coffee we went off for a walk.  The route we had planned got a tad confusing so we headed back to the camp to re-do the Pig Hill track.  As we got near the camp a Crested Pigeon landed on Frances and seemed quite happy to stay on her shoulder: it had a coloured band on it so I wonder whether it was a 'pet'.
Having done our walk and finished breakfast (it was now well above freezing) we headed into Coonabarabran for a look round.  Item 1 was the very prominent War Memorial.
I wasn't aware of this area being a cycling centre but this array outside a bakery suggests that to be the case.  Presumably they go to the National Park: we saw to evidence of cyclists anywhere we went.
The church of St Laurence appeared to have some interesting architecture and glass work but as it was - very unusually for a Catholic Church - locked up we'll never know.
After a wander and a pie - only plain were left but it was a good specimen of the the style so 8/10 - we headed for Bulgadie and another Bird Route.  To my surprise Bulgadie has a Memorial Hall, which we discovered when making sense of the instructions for the Bird Route (based on coming from Barradine rather than Coonabarabran).
We then crossed the road and visited the cemetery which was in the road in which the Route starts.  I noticed a small parrot on the ground: a female Turquoise Parrot!  A strong contender for Bird of the Day.
Then some treecreepers turned out to be Brown Treecreepers  ..
... several Peaceful Doves were seen as were 8 Diamond Firetails and, in the farmyard across the road 6 Plum-headed Finches.

Heading off down the road the Warrums were Bungling, in this case looking rather like a hippo.
A white dot on the RHS skyline in this image is Siding Springs observatory
As we proceeded we found many Red-rumped Parrots and a few other species.  Then Frances saw something unusual in a dead tree.  On reversing it turned out to be 18 Cockatiels.

As we drove along we came to several more flocks of these amounting to about 60 birds in total. This is more than I have seen in one area before.  We then started to wonder if we were in the right area as road signs were not evident and the route directions not detailed.  However we were passing plenty of properties so couldn't get too lost.   Then we hit a bitumen road and knew where we were - having been right all along.

Heading back to Bulgadie we spotted some Apostlebirds in a nest, but they had gone before the camera could be wielded.
This did mean we got to see 2 Bluebonnets.  They seemed a bit nervous so the photo was taken through a dusty windscreen.  They are on the edge of their range here and thus became Bird of the Day.
The fire was lit soon after we got back to the camp.
Looking off to the farmland I noticed a Landcruiser ute with a big spotlight on the roof heading off along a farm lane.  Shortly thereafter came the first of a series of loud bangs: my guess is a centre-fire rifle such as would be suitable for improving pigs.  Quite a few shots were heard over the hour or so, but I have no idea how many (or what) things were shot.

Overnight was quite warm (7oC at 7am) and cloud had come in.  In fact it sprinkled with rain at 3am, leading us to get up and put a few things under cover.  However it didn't really start to rain until we had packed up and were on the road.  All good.

As we drove through Coonabarabran on the way out, I was again struck by the number of motels in the area.  However on checking Table Builder for 2011 Census data there were only 68 people employed in the Accomodation industry.  While at 0.83% of the population it is greater than the 0.56% of the Australian population in that industry it is still a lot lower than I would have expected.  I shall have investigated further.

When we got back to Mendooran the gutters were flowing and we had to jump them for our touristic snaps.  Here is the War Memorial.
Any wall seemed to have been decorated with murals.

The next two images were of a single mural showing a country race meeting.

An excellent little town that is trying hard to make it attractive.

On to Dunedoo where there was a large Art exhibition which was the main reason for us diverting past there. It also had a War memorial so another Town was ticked off.
The slogan for the exhibition was "pencil it in"!
I stayed in the car with the small dog.  Frances rated the exhibition as quite good - the artists were mainly semi-pro at best, but they had lots of works so deserve encouragement.

The icon for Dunedoo in the Swan.  I have no idea why but Swan statues and images were everywhere.  I think there was a Big Swan  somewhere but we didn't spot it (not that we were trying hard to do so).
It was then a bowl down the road to Wellington (pie for lunch - about 6/10 as a bit too juicy: would have been OK with a footy match behind it).  The rain had sort of stopped by then but was showery all the way home, which we reached at about 4pm.


mimfilip said...

Hi Martin,
I noticed from one of your pics that you were camped at Pilliga Pottery. Probably a bit chilly for a dip in the pool, but hopefully you enjoyed the very warm hospitality.
Travel safely.

mimfilip said...

The crested pigeon, was hand reared by one of the potters. She banded it so the guy that looks after the chooks wouldn't use it for target practice. Or so the story goes.

Flabmeister said...

G'day Mimfilip

Thanks for the comments. I hope you don't mind a twofer response.

Even with a day time max of 20+ it wasn't warm enough for me to immerse my body! The hospitality was as you say very warm. This is the second place we have stayed under the Outback Beds banner and they have both been excellent.

Particular thanks for resolving the pigeon situation. It was very weird at the time!