FTOD – Monday 31 August

 

FOTD – Monday 31 August

Connection

Connecting with the natural world, helps me through difficult times.

FOTD
Little Pied Cormorant, drying off at Narooma Town Wharf

I have had a Canon Macro 100mm 1:28 lens in the cupboard for several years and hardly used it.  Previous attempts to master it were disappointing. So the challenge for the coming weeks is to improve my photography using this lens. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Lakes Roadtrip – Paddling in Conjola National Park

Berringer Lake Conjola National Park

Although we had both done some research for our 3 day road trip to explore the lakes in the Milton, Ulladulla area, we really had no set plans. Best way to travel I think!

We had decided to take the road to the coast through Nerriga on Friday afternoon. Although mostly sealed there are very few opportunities to overtake. At one stage we had a convoy of 10, 4WD utes behind Dusty, we obligingly pulled over just outside Nerriga and had a chuckle when all 10 utes pulled into the Nerriga pub car park 2 klms down the road.

Friday night we free camped at a spot I had spied on an earlier trip near Bendalong, toilets, electric BBQ and a waterfront view. Good birding as well, I ticked 1 rufous fantail just near the toilet block (a first for me).  Saturday morning was overcast and drizzling rain so we decided to make the trip down the coast, to see if we could get access to Termeil Lake south of Ulladulla. Unfortunately the road into this part of the Meroo National park is 4WD only. We took the 2WD access road to Meroon Headland and spoke to some the fishermen camping they were pulling down their tents as the fish were not biting.

Time for someserious fishing,so we opted to pull into aptly named little hamlet of Fishermans Paradise for a paddle. This is a backwater of Lake Conjola, I had a great paddle in the falling light up the picturesque Porter Creek as far as the wooden bridge. The creek goes under the highway and is navigable up to the dam a trip for another day. The fishing back at the ramp was pretty ordinary, but was an ideal spot to spend the night.

Sunday we made for beautiful Berringer Lake, in Conjola National Park. This little lake is much quieter than the adjoining Lake Conjola. Unfortunately the mouth of the lake is very silted up and like most extuaries along the coast really need a goodtidal flow to improve the fishing. Mr P managed to bag a nice flathead and swag of tailer for dinner.

Overnight camp spot
Sea Eagle nest

Don’t know the story behind this sink in the middle of nowhere
Fish were biting, trailer and flathead.

Our first roadtrip for Summer

Destination Preddys Wharf.

An early start meant that I was able to get away from work by 3pm. The Friday afternoon traffic down the Clyde was orderly, probably the increased police presence helped. A wet road, down a mountain needs  a bit of respect.  At least 3 drivers were having a bad start to their weekend.

A stop in Moruya, for bait and a wood fired pizza, at a new place I had spotted on a previous trip. We opted for the Moruya River, great choice, just the right amount of anchovies. It was raining by the time we arrived at Preddys Wharf. So beer and pizza and wait for the rain to stop, in my case in bed early with my book.

Fish for lunch and diner, was the challenge and Mr P came up trumps. Shovel nose shark fillets and a nice pan size bream. Saturday morning and not a breath of wind, perfect  glassy conditions for my paddle up the Moruya River to the heads. Of note was a flock of 30 Little Terns, perched on the rocks.
After a trip to the Moruya markets and a stop in Broulee for the SMH, we headed to Tomakin, by now the sun was shining and we launched the kayaks and paddled up the Tomakin River. Mr P dropped a very nice bream, bigger than the earlier catch. I obligingly paddled back and collected the landing net from Dusty.
We decided to camp the night at Windsock Beach and try the beach for some salmon. No visible gutters along the beach and a large school of dolphins meant that the beach was not going to be fishing today. Fortunately there is always birding.

 

Noisy Friar Birds

Capital Weekend

It was decided to have a weekend close to home, so no long road trip, just a couple of outings in between cleaning up my patch in the garden and catching up with friends.

On my drive to work, I often pass birders setting off for an early morning walk through Callum Brae Nature Reserve. The lucky buggers!  So, Saturday morning and I was up at sparrows. There were already a couple of cars parked, at the gate on Mugga Lane when I arrived at 6:00. The circuit of the reserve took about 90 minutes. This is definitely the best time of day, and no snakes.

Birds of note were, Black faced cuckoo-shrike, Wedge Tail Eagle, Straited Thorn-bills nesting, Rufous Whistler and Buff Rumped Thorn-bill. 17 species all up, that I could confidently identify. 
Sunday morning, we finished off the last of the cleanup of spent annuals in the front garden. Time to pack a picnic lunch, load the kayaks onto the trailer and head the 20 minutes down the road south to Tharwa Village on the edge of the Namadgi National Park.

 We are so lucky to have this great area on our doorstep, our destination today was the Tharwa Sandwash and the Gigerline Nature Reserve. We have walked this area a few times, but this was our first paddle in the Murrumbidgee River.

The Sandwash parking area has nice shade trees, with picnic tables. There is easy carry to the river for the kayaks via a  rock stairway. A group had been camping overnight in swags. Fishing is not permitted, I didn’t see any No Camping signs.

We headed up stream towards Angle Crossing. There were plenty of birds visible along the banks, of special note was a Black fronted Dotterel, all on its lonesome and 2 Little Corellas.

Mr P hoisted his sail, and copped some heckling from the campers. He  made good time up stream with the wind. This is still very much a work in progress, so no photos yet. We decided that we needed to adapt a fly proof eating area, before our trip in May. Another use for my large roll of camouflage netting.  
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Narooma, swimming, fishing and wooden boats

No work Friday, meant that we headed to the coast early. Mr P took Dusty down  the mountain on Thursday and I hitched a lift with No1 daughter and No1 grandchild on early Friday morning. We made for Batemans Bay, we had a date with family to make our Christmas puddings.

Puddings made and Mr P arrived showing off his fishing spoils from the previous night. We hit the road south at around 2 o’clock for a night of fishing up the river. No joy on the fishing front, it was a perfect night though for dinner around the fire and a bottle of red.  Saturday dawned and I set off for an early morning paddle, at that magic time when the mist  rises off the water, before the breeze comes up. P kept up with the fishing, but apart from being bitten off by a stingwray it was pretty uneventful.
Nice flathead
After a clean up of rubbish from  around the camp site we headed into Narooma for the Wooden Boat Afloat at Fosters Bay. It was a picture perfect day for snappers, Narooma has the most amazing blue water and you need a just the right light to show it off.

Fosters Bay has some really cute boat sheds. After a wander through the sheds set up as art galleries and some lunch we drove over to Bar Beach, to do what everyone does at Bar, sit and chat with mates, swim and more chatting. Fortunately we made the most of the glorious weather before the Southerly hit on Sunday mid morning.

The new addition

After a couple of trips loading the kayaks into the back of the van, it was decided that we needed a trailer. One that would give us some additional secured storage space and not be too heavey. Gumtree was consulted and we came up with this little beauty. The Venter trailer brand is from South Africa and we picked this one up in Sydney 2nd hand.

Shallow Crossing Camping Experience


This post is from a couple of weekends ago, when we took the van to the backwaters of the Clyde River inland from Batemans Bay, for some birdwatching and kayaking. Our trailer was not yet ready and we had to load the kayaks into the back to transport. They fitted, but it was a bit of a pain. Shallow Crossing is where the fresh and salt water meet. The water level is dependant on the flow and the size of the tide, we have a very low clearance so we timed out drive to coincide with low tide.

The  camp site runs along the river bank, it has plenty of shade shelters with picnic tables and you can light a fire. There are hot showers and drop toilets. We did not see Jim the owner while we were there, I presume that he must have been away as the ammenities were never cleaned and it looked like it had been sometime since the rubbbish had been removed.

Having done our share of campsite cleaning it didn’t worry us, but I was tempted to give Jim a few tips should he have appeared to collect the site fees.

Kangaroo Valley October Long Weekend

A weekend away from our haunts along the south coast always takes some research. So after looking up the  NSW National Parks website and some good tips from Loving the South Coast’s Facebook page we decided on Bendeela Campground at Kangaroo Valley for Saturday night. Then we would see how the weekend went.

Bendeela was a big surprise and I love a free campsite. The security man on the gate who took our registration number and licence details said that at 11am when we arrived there were approximately 1,000 people on site. BUSY…. we looked around and everything was very orderly. It is amazing how organised campers can be without heaps of signs and rules and regulations. No fires and no camping along the river bank..simple. By 10pm that night all I could hear was the distant hum of the power station up river.

The water was a bit to chilley for a long swim, we made the most of the glassey conditions on Sunday morning and put the kayaks in. The paddling is great , plenty of bird and animal life and almost no currant.