Gluepot Reserve guided birding


JUst over a couple of hours drive from Adelaide is Birds Australia's Gluepot Reserve. Located in the semi-arid South Australian mallee-eucalypt zone, Gluepot is considered to be one of the crown jewels in Australia's reserve system. This 50,000 ha large area of virgin mallee eucalypt scrub has a bird list of almost 200 species of which no less than 6 are nationally endangered; and a unique flora and fauna adapted to the harsh conditions. Gluepot's relative accessibility means it is one of the few areas in Australia where birdwatchers can observe otherwise hard-to-find species.

A guided birding tour of Gluepot Reserve is the best way to find most, if not all, of the area's sought-after species. Southern Birding Services (now Bellbird Birding Tours) has a long-standing involvement with management and monitoring at Gluepot Reserve and we have taken countless birdwatchers out there over almost fifteen years. Read their testimonials Not convinced yet? Check out our Gluepot Trips Success Rates.         

Still want to go to Gluepot by yourself? Consider the following: (1) most times you need a 4WD vehicle; (2) most car rental companies don't allow their vehicles off official roads; (3) in this semi-arid environment, birds are always on the move, and where they were last year, or even last month, may not be where they are today; (4) you'll need a GPS or compass so you don't get lost; (5) there's no mobile/cell phone service out there if you do get lost; (6) we know where the birds are: we can confidently say that we spend more time out there chasing birds than anyone else...!

Article by a top British wildlife writer about a day's guided birding at Gluepot with Southern Birding Services

Impressions of Gluepot birding: hover mouse over photos for description

Birds of Gluepot

Birds of Gluepot

Birds of Gluepot (22 p.) Photo Booklet
Stunning photos By P Waanders...

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Striated Grasswren (c) P Waanders Chestnut Quail-thrush (c) P Waanders Red-lored Whistler (c) P Waanders Scarlet-chested Parrot (c) O Fontaine

One-day Gluepot guided birding trip

Southern Birding Services leads guided tours to Gluepot on request. We leave from the townships of Berri or Waikerie very early in the morning for the drive to Gluepot which takes less than an hour and we arrive just before sunrise. The next three or four hours is when Gluepot's critical species are most active. While the sun rises over centuries-old mallee eucalypts and sand dunes covered in spinifex grass, we look for Malleefowl, Red-lored Whistler, Striated Grasswren and Shy Heathwren. In the taller, denser woodland in between the dunes we target species such as Gilbert's Whistler, Hooded Robin, Chestnut Quail-thrush and Southern Scrubrobin, while patches of Casuarina woodland hold Inland Thornbill, White-browed Treecreeper and Major Mitchell Cockatoo. We may even be extremely lucky and come across a Scarlet-chested Parrot!

The Black-eared Minerwas the main reason for Gluepot's purchase by Birdlife Australia and it is the only place left in Australia where the bird is still around in reasonable, although declining, numbers. The bird is threatened with extinction due to hybridisation with the more opportunistic Yellow-throated Miner.

Mallee Birds CD

Mallee Birds CD

CD: Birds of Mallee scrubland. The only CD to feature calls of most birds found at Gluepot Reserve.

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We will carefully examine any flocks of Black-eared Miners we come across to distinguish hybrid miners from proper Black-eared Miners, and marvel at their interesting social behaviour, which in the breeding season includes cooperative breeding in loose colonies.

As the bird activity slows down, so do we, and focus on species such as Chestnut Quail-thrush, Crested Bellbird, Splendid Fairy-wren, and Striped Honeyeater. Depending on the season we may also look for Pied and Black Honeyeater and Crimson and Orange Chat.

We spend a relaxing hour having lunch in one of the bird hides, overlooking a watering through, with chances of Regent Parrot and many of Gluepot's 10 species of Honeyeater. This is the quietest time of the day and we call in at the impressive Visitor's Centre for you to check out the displays and browse the information on offer.

As the afternoon progresses bird activity returns to an extent, and we can spend time looking for any species you still require. We leave the reserve late in the afternoon to be back at your accommodation in Waikerie around dusk. Alternatively, we can leave the reserve earlier and can spend some time birding the wetlands around Waikerie in search of Regent Parrot nesting sites or Freckled Duck, or visit a local active Malleefowl mound.

SA Birding Site Guide

SA Birding Site Guide

A Birdwatching Guide to South Australia (pdf) NEW: 2017 REVISION   By P Waanders...

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Gluepot Trips Success Rates Trip planning service



Gluepot Landscape (c) D Neilson Black-eared Miner (c) G Chapman Gluepot Landscape (c) P Waanders Pink Cockatoo (c) P Waanders Southern Scrub-robin (c) P Waanders

Mini loudspeaker

Mini loudspeaker

Mini Loudspeaker - JBL or Radioshack. Highly recommended by profesional birdwatchers...

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