Friday, April 10, 2009

There And Back Again. Chapter Eleven. Bool Lagoon

Did I mention this is post number 300? I was thinking about writing up something special for it, but since I'm in the middle of a grand caving adventure I'd rather not bore y'all with useless crap about Yours-Truly.

I'll give you a hint though, the numbers 300, 1423, 299, 754, 286, 16, 279, and 22 all have something in common. Ok all you number series folk: have at it!

Bool Lagoon

After we left Wet Cave, we had decided to have lunch. Now, when Wifey-Poo and YT go out and about we pack all our own food and such. Mainly cus we can't afford to eat in restaurants while travelling since all the spare dough is spent on keeping the pool in good nick.

So we had everything in hand for a nice picnic lunch. But, WHERE should we have lunch? We could easily have it at one of the many picnic areas at the caves. We could easily go back up to the swimmin' hole.

But we did neither of those things.

As I was looking around online in the week leading up to the trip, getting map printouts of small towns, finding rest stops, and researching Naracoorte, I stumbled upon a place called Bool Lagoon about 20 k's south of Naracoorte.

Apparantly Bool Lagoon is supposed to be a birder's paradise. Over 150 different species of flyin' critters have been seen there at one time. The reserve is 3100 hectares so that makes it the most diverse area in all of Australia for birds.

There's also picnicing and camping areas there too. They have boardwalks that go out over the lagoon to bird blinds so you can watch the critters without them knowing you are there. Many migratory birds from waaaaaaay up north "summer over" at Bool.


Sounds like a nice place for a piccie.

Oh, wait a sec. Isn't Oz in the middle of a drought that's been going on for over a decade? Ah, Bool is also a "seasonal" wetland area. Well, maybe there'll be some water there.

bool painted

But let's just have a looksie at a satellite photo (and hope it's current):
bool satellite painted

Winter is the "wet" season down here. Or as "wet" as it's gonna get. Did you know that Bool Lagoon was totally dry from 1996 to 2003? Even in winter.

Well, since we were right across the road (at the caves) and we wanted a place to have lunch, we figured we'd give it a go.

This is what the scenery was like on the drive there:
dry bool 05

Here's what the lagoon is supposed to look like:
dry bool 09
dry bool 10

It's a special place:
dry bool 11

With neat critters too:
dry bool 12

Now, we were prepared for it to be dry. Maybe perhaps a marshy area or two. Not too many birdses, but something...

Instead we saw this:
dry bool 07

We decided to take a short walk down a trail. Hopefully there may be a marsh or two?
dry bool 08
Hmmmmm, pretty dry...
dry bool 19
The car waited for us, but it tried hard to not be embarassed and did it's best to remain inconspicuous.
dry bool 20

This is me approaching a bird blind
dry bool 21

This is me taking a picture of a bird blind
dry bool 02

Hmmmmmm, don't think there's many of these blokes around today
dry bool 03

Let's have a look, shall we?
dry bool 04

Hmmmmm, perhaps we may see something in a close up?
dry bool 22
Nope, nothin'

Here's what we could see during the "wet" season:
Brown Bitterns
green shanks
Swamp Harrier
Australian Hobby
Barn Owl
Peregrine Falcon
Cape Barren Goose
Magpie Goose
Musk Duck
Whiskered Tern
Black-tailed Godwit
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Golden-headed Cisticola
Clamorous Reed Warbler
Little Grassbird
Black-tailed Native-hen
Pied Stilt
Banded Lapwing
Red-necked Avocet
White-fronted Chat
Red-browed Firetail
Flame Robin
Crescent Honeyeater
Little Wattlebird
Forest Raven

Let's go have lunch while overlooking the dry lagoon:
dry bool 18

This is one of the many reasons why we were sneezing. It's a type of ozzie bottlebrush, BTW.
dry bool 15

Heading back to the caves!
dry bool 23

Bool Lagoon was NOT a loss, however. Firstly, we got away from any other people whatsoever. And we will be coming back in October. Had a nice, quiet picnic.

Don't worry, you WILL see water birds on the return trip! Got some great shots on the way to Lucindale.

Next up is THE MAIN ATTRACTION: The Victoria Fossil Cave!

Here's a teaser of what you see when you go into the main fossil chamber:

And as you descend even deeper... all sorts of nooks and crannies show up

Watch out for the shadows...


RunninL8 said...

Couldn't get the majority of your photos to load :(
Now, do you guys kinda "stroll" about the caves or are you down there actually spelunking(sp?)?!?!?
I could not handle that-claustrophobia, oi!

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

RunninL8: Here's a link to their thumbnail page at flickr, that might be quicker:

and here's the 3 teasers for the fossil cave:

We didn't do the spelunking tours. Although next time I'll consider it. The 3 we did were mainly walk throughs as these are some seriously big chambers. But even with that there were some fairly small passages and some step, rickety steps.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

RunninL8: Do the slideshows load for you? I could also put up a slideshow, no worries.

LoveANewIdea said...

Congratulations on your 300th post. Wow!

One of your photos - shot of the scenery on your drive - reminds me of the wide flat prairies of Nebraska. Also, quite a winding road through the lake when it's full of water...wonder what that building is that it leads to??

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Liz: Never thought I'd get to 300... thanks!

The "road" through the lagoon is actually a planked boardwalk footpath. It's about 4 or 5 feet wide. The "building" is another bird-blind for watching the birds without disturbing them. We didn't walk down that walk (it winds around for about 1 kilometer) since everything was dry.

We need to go back in late October, should be some water and birdses then.