Local birding sites
The Wastewater Treatment Plant sometimes closes in the interest of public safety, due to flooding or maintenance purposes. Phone ahead to make sure it is open! Please contact Lachlan Shire Council’s Infrastructure Department on 02 6895 1900 during business hours.
There are birding opportunities in ephemeral wetlands particularly on the Condobolin/Lake Cargelligo road near Nilson's Bird Hide.
Suggested Route 1
Route 1 – Wastewater Treatment Plant - Ephermal wetlands - Nilsons Bird Hide. All within 5km of LC
After visiting “The Ponds” travel out the Lake Cargelligo - Condobolin Rd to Nilson’s Bird Hide. Check for water in the ephemeral wetlands on the sides of the road. After good rain there can be plenty of water and a chance of seeing crake in the reed beds.
The Ponds (Wastewater Treatment Plant)
IMPORTANT Due to maintenance taking place access is to the hide only. No walking around the settlement ponds.
208 species records on ebird makes this one of the best locations for variation of species.
DIRECTIONS -33.315288, 146.379926
Follow Canada Street out onto the Lake Cargelligo – Condobolin Rd
Pass ELDERS approx. 550 metres
Turn right onto Blackers Rd
Travel approx. 900m and before the railway line you will see a gate & parking area on your left side.
Walking in you will see a bird hide and a walking track around the settlement ponds.
Possible – White-winged and Purple-backed Fairy-wrens, Red-capped Robin, Zebra Finch, Purple Swamphen, Australasian and Hoary-headed Grebe, Eurasian Coot, Black Swan, Sandpiper, Pied Stilt, Red-necked Avocet, Black-fronted & Red-kneed Dotterel, Pink-eared Duck, Cockatiels, Reed Warbler, Dusky Moorhen, Australian Shelduck.
Nilson's Bird Hide
DIRECTIONS -33.297216, 146.407027
Head out the Condobolin Rd passing Elders continue approx. 3.7km
Turn left towards Nilson’s Rd veering to the left and parking at the railing. Walk into hide area.
Possible – White-plumed and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Red-rumped Parrot, Mallee Ringneck, Cockatiel, Purple-backed Fairy-wren, Sacred Kingfisher, Rainbow bee-eater, Olive-backed Oriole, Pelican, Australasian Darter, Great Cormorant, Little Friarbird, Rufous Whistler, Whistling Kite, Black-fronted and Red-kneed Dotterel.
Suggested Route 2
Route 2 – Chat Alley - Booberoi Creek - Round Hill Rd - Railway Line Crossing - Round Hill Rd - Wheat Paddock - Whoey Tank.
Distance approx. 100km return trip to Lake Cargelligo
Permission should be sought from Cobar NPWS for the Wheat Paddock and Whoey Tank.
This is a guide only!! Please plan ahead. Round Hill Road is dry weather road ONLY. The Nature Reserves are isolated and there is no mobile phone coverage in much of the Nature Reserves. Do not leave the roads, it's easy to get lost in the mallee.
Some personal advice: “We always keep our window down. If we see or hear birds on Round Hill Road or the Tipping Way - we often stop and investigate. Mallee birds will be right along that road including specialties such as Gilberts Whistler, Southern Scrub Robin, even Malleefowl. The roads can be as good a spot as any. It is never about the destination when birding, it is often about the journey and the surprises along the way”
Chat Alley Low lying surface drain surrounded by salt bush
Also see; Round Hill & Nombinne Nature Reserves (below)
DIRECTIONS -33.164413, 146.347246
Head north out the Euabalong Road approx. 12.8km
Turn left travel approx. 3.4km
Turn left onto Mount Grace Rd travel approx. 250m over ramp
You have arrived CHAT ALLEY (no signage)
Possible: White-winged Fairy-wren, Zebra Finch, White-fronted, Crimson or Orange Chat, Brown & Black Falcon, Hobby, Rufous & Brown Songlark.
Also see; Round Hill & Nombinne Nature Reserves (below)
DIRECTIONS -33.137580, 146.292471
Less than 2km further along past Chat Alley turn right onto Round Hill Rd (signage says Mount Hope/Cobar)
Travel approx. 5km to arrive to Booberoi where you can take a walk along the banks of the creek.
Birds – Robins, Fairy-wrens, Honeyeaters, Brown Treecreeper, Rainbow bee-eater and waterbirds. Look out for Parrots especially between Chat Alley and Booberoi Creek.
Railway Line Crossing
DIRECTIONS -33.049409, 146.212821
From Booberoi creek continue north-west on Round Hill Road approximately 12 km
Once you cross the railway line if there has been rain the waterhole on the right side of the road might have water, this is always worth checking. Birds come into drink if you sit long enough and the general area is good to explore especially the shrubby areas both sides of the road.
Possible – Common Bronzewing, Thornbills, Splendid Fairywren, Weebill, Mallee Ringnecks, Mulga Parrot, White-fronted Chat, Crested Bellbird, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Gilberts Whistler, Red-capped Robin, Shy Heathwren.
The old Wheat Paddock (Nombinnie Nature Reserve) – unsealed road
DIRECTIONS -32.961991, 146.119913
Seek permission from Cobar NPWS and DO NOT LEAVE THE ROADS. It is easy to get lost in the mallee. Plan ahead, carry plenty of water and avoid extreme weather conditions.
From the waterhole/railway crossing, keep heading north-west on Round Hill Rd approx. 13km
Turn left on Cactus Firetrail – (CHECK SIGNAGE)
The firetrail is a dirt track and easy to miss. Firetrail is approx. 1km before you reach the T-junction with Euabalong/Mt Hope Rd.
Possible: White-browed Babbler, Variegated & Splendid Fairy-wren, Gilberts Whistler, Honeyeaters, Southern Scrub Robin, Shy Heathwren, Malleefowl.
DIRECTIONS -32.9607840, 146.1590610
Seek permission from Cobar NPWS and DO NOT LEAVE THE ROADS. It is easy to get lost in the mallee. Plan ahead, carry plenty of water and avoiding extreme weather conditions.
From Wheat Paddock back track to Round Hill Road
Turn left onto Round Hill Rd and continue until you arrive at the Tipping way T-junction
Turn right onto Tipping Way toward Euabalong
Travel approx. 3.5km or so
Look for a track to the right known as Round Hill Firetrail or post number 3096.
Walking in approx. 500m or so will bring you to a dry dam on the right and the tanks straight ahead.
Possible – Budgerigars, White-breasted, Masked, White-browed Woodswallows, Mulga Parrot, Mallee Ringneck, Blue Bonnet, Cockatiel, Black-eared Cuckoo, Spiny-cheeked, Black, Pied, Striped, White-fronted, White-eared, Blue-faced Honeyeaters, White-fronted & Crimson Chats, Chestnut-rumped, Yellow-rumped & Inland Thornbill, Southern Whiteface, Splendid Fairywren, Spotted Bowerbird, Major Mitchells Cockatoo, White-browed Babbler, Diamond Dove, Shy Heathwren, Red-capped Robin.
Suggested Route 3
Curlew Waters Road – Curlew Waters – Ephemeral wetlands on Curlew Waters Road – Sheet of Water – Lake Cargelligo Weir – Lachlan River. Distance approx. 50km return trip to Lake Cargelligo
Visit the other two lakes in the Lake Cargelligo system, the deepest of the lakes Curlew Waters and the shallowest, The Sheet of Water. Then make your way to Lake Cargelligo Weir. Be sure to keep your eye out for Blue bonnets along the way.
If you would like to try for Robins, Pardolote and Thornbills follow the road past Lake Cargelligo Weir until you get to the first bend in the river where you may find birds foraging amongst the shrubs and eucalypts.
Head out Condobolin road
Travel approximately 6 km, turn left down Curlew Waters Road
Travel approx. 3km and you will come to a row of mailboxes turn left onto Stuart Drive. You are almost there!
Look for a dirt track that veres to the right (before you cross the bridge)
Slide across and follow that track along until you reach the lake.
The surrounding areas are private properties but you can walk along the track and watch for birds in the eucalypts, salt bush and lignum areas. Day bookings are also welcome at the adjoining property “Curlew Camp” which notably, includes the use of kayaks to explore the lake and channel of water further. Costs start at $32 for 2 people. If you are self contained, it is a magnificent spot to camp if you want your own piece of bird paradise. Bookings must be made through this link Curlew Camp - Birds & Fishing - Hipcamp in Lake Cargelligo, New South Wales
Possible – Pelicans, Great Crested Grebes, Nankeen Night Heron, Dusky Moorhen, Cormorants, Ratalaki, Yellow-rumped, Yellow and Chestnut-rumped Thornbills, Spotted & Striated Pardolotes, Western Gerygone, Zebra Finch, Mallee Ringneck and Yellow Rosella.
SHEET OF WATER & LAKE CARGELLIGO WEIR
(Once you turn off the main road it is unsealed please be cautious after rain)
From the Curlew Waters front entrance, turn left back onto Curlew Waters road and travel a further 9km (approximately). (Make sure you check the water beside the road on the first bend past Curlew)
Turn left toward the weir
Travel less than 750m turn left and over ramp.
Travel approx. 950m arrive to bridge.
Before you go over the bridge take a left hand turn and follow channel of water along.
The channel can be great for birds too. Less than 1km along and you will come to the Sheet of Water access point.
This location is best when water levels are down with exposed mudflats.
The bridge and the weir can be great locations to view herons fishing.
To travel to the weir head back to bridge and go over bridge, the weir is just a short drive from here. The actual weir is fenced off and not accessible but birding can be done along the river and it can be a nice walk between the bridge and the weir itself.
Possible – Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Grey shrike-thrush, Cormorant, Australasian Darter, Great Egret, White-faced Heron, Little Friarbird, White-bellied Sea Eagle, on the Curlew Waters Road look out for Blue Bonnets, Cockatiels, Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel.