5 Birds You’ll See on Murray River Safari
Murray River Safari is our tour for lovers of wildlife and bird encounters. We’ve designed this tour to include a range of activities that allow you to observe birds and wildlife on and off the river at times of the day when they are most active.
Murray River Safari is a 3 day 2 night tour that combines canoeing, walking, river cruising and a driving tour around ephemeral lakes to help you encounter a range of wildlife & birdlife on the Murray River.
Bird life encounters galore!
On an afternoon canoe through quiet creeks you may see Red kangaroos and emus at the water's edge having a drink and where overhead Whistling Kites break the silence with their iconic whistling calls. White-faced herons, Yellow-billed Spoonbills and Great Egrets are also seen feeding in the shallows.
We dedicate a morning to a unique birdwatching safari on ephemeral lakes that are managed by ecologists which support the recovery of ecosystems that create a breeding paradise for Black Swans and Musk Duck, and refuge for Blue-winged Shovellers and Pied Stilts.
1. Black Swan
During May and June Black Swans are seen in great numbers on the ephemeral lakes with breedings pairs coming together to build nests and rear their young. Cygnets can be seen swimming behind their parents near the shoreline and the symphony of their calls is beautiful to listen to.
Black Swans pair for life and eggs are laid in an untidy nest made of reeds and grasses which we can see through the spotting scope. They are a beautiful large wetland bird, one of our favourite to see on our morning tour.
Image: Kirk Owers
2. Wedge-tailed Eagle
Australia’s largest bird of prey, we sometimes see these majestic birds perched on tree branches, their watchful gaze overlooking the mallee landscape in search for their next meal.
Their wings span to 2.3m and they are often seen alone, or sometimes in pairs, circling high above the tree line.
3. Red-rumped Parrot
Spotted in Eucalypt woodlands, the small Red-Rumped Parrot is rarely seen far from water and the flashes of the male's red rump will catch your eye as they take off up into the trees. We often see Red-rumps feeding on the ground, foraging for seeds, in small groups of 2 or more.
Another bird species that mate for life, they make their nests in hollow eucalypt trees and the female doesn’t leave the nest until the young have hatched.
Image: Gavin Saur Photography
4. Pink-eared Duck
A small duck with beautiful plumage, the “Pinky” is named so after the small spot of pink feathers on the side of the male's head. They are easily distinguished from other duck species as they have bold black and white striped feathers on their neck, breast and underwing areas, rewarding them the nickname of ‘Zebra Duck’.
Even their bills are a distinguishing feature, the flat wide shape allowing them to feed by sucking water through the tip of the bill and expelling it through grooves that run down the sidesl, leaving any invertebrates in the bill ready for eating.
Image: Elsa Jacobs
5. Australian Ringneck (Mallee Ringneck)
There is no mistaking this colourful parrot as it flies through the Mallee canopy, it’s luminous green plumage always catching our eyes. Ringneck’s gain their name from the bright yellow band around their neck and we often see them along the river corridor and in the Mallee floodplain country.
Image: Gluepot Reserve
Join us on a murray river safari
Our Murray River Safari wildlife adventures are short, 3 days and 2 nights, and depart on Tuesdays and Fridays from March through to November each year.
Tours depart from Renmark in South Australia, flights are available into Adelaide airport.
As with all our tours, nightly accommodation is on board a comfortable houseboat and you will be accompanied by 2 friendly guides.
Other activities on this tour include a guided bushwalk, canoeing through quiet creeks, driving tour of ephemeral lakes and a tour and tasting at the Woolshed Brewery.
See a diverse range of waterbirds including Black Swans, Spoonbills, Red-necked Avocets and Pied Stilts, migratory waders, and of course our beautiful bushbirds, Rufous Whistler, Red-capped Robin and Fairywrens, Red-rumped Parrot, Australian Ringnecks and Yellow Rosellas, and migratory Rainbow Bee-eaters.
The next tours depart March 2021 - view these dates by clicking HERE.