[A stop on the West Queensland Trip Jul-Aug 2021 trip]
Barely a kilometre west of the little town of Eulo, on the Adventure Way road, is a crossing of the Paroo River that warrants a stop if you happen to be passing through that way.
We stopped at just after midday, not the optimal time of day for bird activity, but we were pleasantly surprised to find a few birds active.
Like a lot of river and creek crossings in the outback, there are dirt trails on both sides of the water and ample space to park up either a single vehicle or a caravan/trailer combo. A lot of creeks like this seem to have unofficial bush camping as the norm, whereby folks pull up under a shady tree near the water and stay overnight.
We parked just on the east side of the “weir” and wandered across its rough concrete to the other side, where a set of promising gum trees hosted both Little and Noisy Friarbirds, as well as Diamond and Peaceful Doves.
Further along the river was a White-Necked Heron, which skittishly flew away a few times until trusting us enough to for a closer photo. A Great Egret had no such qualms, standing serenely unruffled by the muddy water.
In the dry times you can see evidence of flooding along waterways like this, with their eroded mud banks.
A highlight of the visit was seeing up to 60 Fairy Martins swooping over the water and over and under the road bridge; they were collecting mud from the river bank and busily bulking out their nest structure with it. The nests were under the concrete bridge span. I could have watched the Martins for a long time, they were very industrious!
A Brown Goshawk flew across at one point, but a little far away for decent photos. Not so the ubiquitous White-Plumed Honeyeaters, who were diving down for dips in the water, leading to much practice of action shots.
Paroo River crossing attracts birds like many waterways and waterholes in the outback, though perhaps more birds than other similar creeks that we explored. It is worth a stop there to stretch the legs, have a bite to eat, and watch out across the water to see what might turn up.
Hotspot: Paroo River at -28.16111, 145.03639 (88 species)
Checklist for this visit (11 species)
Pluses and minuses:
+ A few decent birds to be found
+ Pleasant to wander along the creek and under the shady trees
– Noise and traffic on nearby highway
– Probably not worth intensive exploration from a birding perspective