Saturday, April 23, 2016

"Birding" at Milang, breakfast at Wellington, on a glorious morning

The railway used to come to Milang in the days when this was a busy freight port. The track is disused now...
...the station and remaining cars are a standing exhibit, with Devonshire Ceam Teas serves on Sundays!
You find historic railway exhibits in many rural places, often with a retired steam locomotive.
Main street Milang in the early morning light: the wetlands and lake are on the right...
Milang wetlands; main street is right behind you.
The long jetty, where barges and paddle boats would unload freight. The old crane is still in place.
A brilliant morning on Lake Alexandrina. It'd be a great day for sailing.
The view from the jetty to Paddlesteamer Drive.
Lake Alexandrina -- the shoreline, with Paddlesteamer Drive just ahead. A major caravan park is on the right.
Paddlesteamer Drive in all its glory. For years, Alexandrina Council tried to get rid of these "shacks," but
the folks who live and/or holiday down here are grandfathered in. Well, would you sell out?!
Pelicans next in the reedbeds opposite the shoreline -- see two pictures above.
Gulls, egrets and pelicans gather on the short jetty ... on your doorstep, if you live on Paddle Steamer Drive.

Turn around, look in the other direction: the sky is changing.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s Milang was as busy with trade as today it's drowsy and laid back with
boaties, fisher folk and people like us just staying overnight to share the peace and quiet.
Where you find water, you find gnats, and where you find gnats -- swallows. These are welcome swallows,
common in all coastal and watery areas in South Australia.
Welcome swallows are tiny and rarely sit still. Lucky to get this shot!

Lake Alexandrina is one of the best places in this region for "birders," and especially camera-happy birders. We sometimes try the Goolwa Bird Hide, which is a timber shed with benches and long windows, nestled in the reedbeds just short of the Coorong; but in a half dozen visits we've yet to get really good pictures. The reason is, the water is a long way off, and the birds usually so distant, they're specks in your camera lens.

At Milang, quite a number of birds are not so shy of humans. They'll hang out on the shore and jetties, and it's fairly easy to get good pictures. One of these days I'd like to go to the Bird Hide with a massive 1000mm lens attached to a DSLR camera, on a glorious blue-sky day. But till then, Milang and, just up the shore, Clayton, are the places to be.
The plan was, we'd hit the road early and head over to Wellington for breakfast. And here we go...

The Old Courthouse is exactly that: the original 19th century building that was once used as a lockup and regional
court. Its recently been renovated with B&B rooms added, while the original building houses a museum...

In the middle of the Courthouse facilities was the most fantastic indoor/outdoor courtyard dining facility.
We absolutely loved this ... sad to say, when the building/business changed hands a year or so later, the new
owners redesigned everything. It's not like this any more. Dang. See the sunny archway? Go through it, and --
--you find yourself on the lawns behind the building, with a view of the car ferry. The ferry runs about every ten
minutes, and its free. Across the Murray River is Tailem Bend, and the Duke's Highway.

Above: As you eat breakfast, look out over the river at the flocks of cavorting little corellas which swarm around Wellington by the thousands. Earplugs might be a good idea. These guys are loud even one at a time, and when you get a hundred ... whoa. (Pictures uploaded at full size: click on them to view.)

Back to the courtyard for breakfast, which ought to be just about ready by now --

There's little to add to the picture captions! Milang in the morning light was glorious -- though it was rather cold, which you can't tell from these images. The day warmed up rapidly, however, and by the time we were in Wellington it was almost hot.

The Wellington Courthouse is a great cafe/B&B, with a nice line in breakfasts and a fascinating local history musem. We haven't used the B&B yet, since we always stay about 45 minutes up the road at the Milang Lakes Motel, but we've had breakfast at Wellington Courthouse many times. It's a great place to stop and fuel up for the day before taking the ferry over to Tailem Bend. Must do the B&B there one day.

Today, we were just meandering, and birding. The whole object was to see what species we could find and photograph, and we lucked out on the shore of Lake Alexandrina, as you see above!

After breakfast we were headed for Rusticana at Langhorne Creek, and the Goolwa Barrages, and then we'd swing home in a northbound loop via Mount Compass. One more post will wrap up this trip!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...