On one photo excursion during my stay at Killarney, I decided to try following the Killarney – Barlow’s Gate Road all the way to Barlow’s Gate, a crossing along the Queensland – New South Wales border. This road is almost all dirt, and some sections are impassible in wet conditions. This particular morning was dry, although melting frost made some hollows a little tricky for the 2WD Ford Ranger. Navigation was also a little tricky, but the rabbit fence (a fence built along the border to try, fruitlessly, to keep rabbits from crossing over!) was a pretty good marker for my relative position. Although there were a lot of kangaroos and wallabies along the track, there was not all that much birdlife. Wood Duck were perched up in the trees, Red-browed Finch and Double-barred Finch were feeding on the grass seeds, Superb Fairywren were feeding along the track itself and every now and then a pair of rosellas (Crimson, Eastern or Pale-headed), Red-rumped or Red-winged parrots would be flushed from feeding in fields next to the road. Passing one of the very few properties along this road, I stopped to photograph the grizzly sight of a dingo carcass hanging on a fence – obviously shot or poisoned and strung up as a warning to others that might be preying on livestock in the area.
After running along the border for a few kilometres, I climbed a hill to a magnificent summit that had almost 360 degree views across the countryside. I immediately thought that this would be great place to observe different bird species, and it seemed others had the same idea – I soon noticed a flock of Red-browed Finch and Double-barred Finch feeding on commercial bird seed spread under some trees beside some shrubs. As I was photographing the finches, a pair of Brown Quail came out of the undergrowth to start feeding as well! Not to be outdone, a flock of White-winged Chough arrived noisily and took over proceedings. A Grey Goshawk made a pass over the hilltop, causing a commotion among the smaller birds, although the White-winged Chough were not too perturbed by it all. So it was a very nice experience to sit there in the car and photograph several species at close range. After the goshawk flew past, I walked up to a sign that was posted in front of the gate to a small cabin. The location was named “Picnic Hill” – very apt for such a beautiful, albeit remote, spot. In the grounds of the cabin, there were quite a few birds feeding on the lawn, such as Superb Fairywren and White-browed Scrubwren, while flittering between the trees was a Rufous Fantail. In the trees, several species of honeyeater were busy feeding on the nectar of the few flowers that had already started blooming.