Tolderol Game Reserve VKFF-1752

Today (Monday 15th July 2019) I packed the 4WD and headed south to the Tolderol Game Reserve VKFF-1752.  I have activated Tolderol previously, so today’s activation would go towards the Boomerang Award.

Tolderol is located about 77 km south-east of Adelaide, and about 12 km south of Langhorne Creek.

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After leaving home I headed south on Wellington Road, travelling through the town of Woodchester.  I then took Meechi Road and soon reached the Langhorne Creek wine growing region and then the town of Langhorne Creek which takes its name from Alfred Langhorne, a cattle drover who brought cattle overland from New South Wales during the 1840s.

Langhorne stopped to rest and feed his stock on the fertile local pastures, then referred by ‘overlanders’ as Langhorne’s Station.  The place where Langhorne traversed the Bremer River became known as Langhorne’s Crossing.  The first bridge built over the Bremer River in 1847 and the town surveyed in 1849, becoming known as Langhorne’s Bridge.

Areas known as Bremerton (Bremer Town) and Kent Town were encompassed in the broader area that became Langhorne’s Creek and later renamed Langhorne Creek.

In 1850 Frank Potts settled on the rich ancient flood plain of the Bremer River and planted the first vineyards in the district in the early 1860s.

Today the Langhorne Creek wine region is well known for the production of outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.  These two red wine grape varieties constitute approximately 70% of the total vineyard plantings in the region.

I headed out of Langhorne Creek on the Langhorne Creek to Wellington Road and soon reached the turnoff to Tolderol.  This is well signposted and is located at the junction with Dog Lake Road.

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After a number of km I reached the intersection of Dog Lake Road, Mosquito Creek Road, and Marandoo Road.  Tolderol is signposted at this location.  I continued south on Dog Lake Road.

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I soon reached the first of two gates.  Today the gate was closed.  Sometimes you will find it open.  As the sign on the gate says, leave the gate as you find it.

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I headed slowly along Dog Lake Road with a number of obstacles along the way in the form of cattle.

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I then turned left at the dog leg in the road.  There is another park sign here.

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I then reached gate one of the park, the start of the Tolderol Game Reserve.

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Tolderol Game Reserve is 428 hectares in size and was first proclaimed on the 8th day of January 1970.  Initially, the reserve consisted of 226 hectares.  On the 26th day of February 1970, the land was re-proclaimed as a fauna conservation reserve.  Two years later on the 27th day of April 1972, it was reconstituted as a game reserve.  An additional 202 hectares were added on the 10th day of January 1980.

The reserve consists of extensive areas of samphire, reed and sedges with large open areas of water.  A series of seventeen ponds have been constructed which provide habitat for a wide variety of waterbirds.  The park is located on the northwestern side of Lake Alexandrina.

Tolderol is a highly regarded bird watching location,  The shallow basins, reed beds, lakeshore and grassy banks, attract a wide range of birds.  Tolderol is part of the internationally significant RAMSAR wetlands.  Tolderol is open for hunting during gazetted dates, however, it remains a critical habitat for protected birds.

As I entered the park a large flock of waterbirds were disturbed.  Initially, I thought it was me and the sound of the 4WD.

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But I then noticed a bird of prey which was flying across the pond and it was the cause of the other birds to take to the sky.

About 182 species of bird have been recorded in the reserve by Birds SA.  This includes Black Swan, Pacific Black Duck, Whiskered Tern, Straw-necked Ibis, Spur-winged Plover, Golden-headed Cisticola, Australia Reed Warbler, Latham’s Snipe, White-winged Tern, Spotless Crake, Baillon’s Crake, Ruff, and Long-toed Stint.

Below is a short documentary showing the wide variety of birds located in the park.

I took quite a few bird photos during my visit to Tolderol.  Some of those appear below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During my visit to the park, I also observed a number of kangaroos.

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I travelled to the picnic area in the park.  There are three tables and benches here and plenty of area to stretch out a dipole.

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My operating spot was right alongside the northern shore of Lake Alexandrina which takes its name after Princess Alexandrina, the niece and successor of King William IV of Great Britain and Ireland.

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For this activation, I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 30 watts output, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole which was supported by my 7-metre telescopic squid pole.  I secured the legs of the antenna with some tent pegs.

After switching on the transceiver I tuned to 7.144 and asked if the frequency was in use.  Ron VK3AHR came back to my call to advise that the frequency was clear.  This happens quite often where I don’t even get the chance to call CQ.  It appears that some of the park diehards sit on 7.144 waiting for activity.

After logging Ron I spoke with Brett VK2VW, Karl VK2GKA, and then Cliff VK2NP.  This was followed by a Park to Park with Mike VK6MB/3 who was activating the Bolton Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2272.

Contact number ten was with Ray VK4NH, just 9 minutes into the activation.  Although I had previously qualified the park it is always nice to get 10 and then 44 contacts in the log during an activation.

I logged a total of 24 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  It appeared that close in propagation was non-existent again, with just the one South Australian station logged.  That being Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula.  Adrian was very low down, 4/1, but was readable due to the low noise floor in the park.

I moved down to the 80m band and stated calling CQ on 3.610 after placing a self spot on parksnpeaks.  First in the log was Gerard VK2IO/5 who was mobile near Woomera in the north of South Australia.  This was followed by John VK5BJE, Sue VK5AYL, and then Peter VK3PF.  I logged a further 5 stations on 80m before callers on that band dried up.

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With 33 contacts in the log, I lowered the squid pole and removed the links for the 20m band.  I was about to start calling CQ on 20m when I saw a spot pop up on 40m for Mike VK6MB/3 who was now in a different park.

So it was back down with the squid pole and in with the 40m links.  I headed for 7.135 and logged Mike who was in the Moss Tank Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2394.

After working Mike I moved back to 20m and called CQ on 14.310 for about 5 minutes with no callers.  So I headed back to 40m for one final go on that band before packing up for the day.  Ken VK2HBO was the first to come back to my call, followed by Compton VK2HRX/5 mobile near Maree in the Far North of South Australia.

I logged a further 13 stations from VK1, VK2, VK4, and VK7.

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I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3AHR
  2. VK2VW
  3. VK2GKA
  4. VK2NP
  5. VK6MB/3 (Bolton Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2272)
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK4HNS
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK4FARR
  12. VK3UH
  13. VK3MCK
  14. VK2ADB
  15. VK4FDJL
  16. VK3AWG/m
  17. VK2MG
  18. VK2AVT
  19. VK3MH
  20. VK5FANA
  21. VK2IO/5
  22. VK7LT
  23. VK2LEE
  24. VK3ZMD
  25. VK6MB/3 (Moss Tank Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2394)
  26. VK2HBO
  27. VK2HRX/m
  28. VK4RF
  29. VK4HA
  30. VK2TM
  31. VK2BHO
  32. VK4SMA
  33. VK2JON
  34. VK4VXX/m
  35. VK4/AG7WB
  36. VK1AMG
  37. VK4CPS
  38. VK2PKT
  39. VK7TU
  40. VK7DM

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/5
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5AYL
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK5KLV
  6. VK3DNH
  7. VK3XPT
  8. VK3PTL
  9. VK5BMC

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/tolderol-game-reserve/>, viewed 15th July 2019.

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Alexandrina_(South_Australia)>, viewed 15th July 2019.

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langhorne_Creek,_South_Australia>, viewed 15th July 2019

WWFF Activator 253 certificate

In the past week, I received another global WWFF certificate.  It is issued for having activated a total of 253 WWFF references and having reached 44 QSOs during each of those activations.

My current park tally is 307 park activations, with 256 where I have reached the 44 QSO threshold for the global WWFF awards.

Thank you to Friedrich DL4BBH the Awards Manager, and thank you to everyone who has called me during those activations.

VK5PAS Global Activator 253.png

Lowan Conservation Park 5CP-121 and VKFF-1052

I left Ettrick Conservation Park and headed for my next park, the Lowan Conservation Park 5CP-121 and VKFF-1052.  Again this was another park I had activated previously, so this activation would go towards the Boomerang Award and count towards my stats for the 2019 Top Activator.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Lowan Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I travelled along Glenburr Road and then Piggy Back Road and turned left onto Bowhill Road.  It wasn’t long before I reached the intersection with Gribble Bore Road.  There is a cairn here to commemorate the sealing of the Bowhill Road, and an old well and windmill.

I travelled east along Gribble Bore Road and soon reached the park which is well signposted.

The Lowan Conservation Park was established on the 9th day of September 1971 and was formerly known as the Lowan National Park.  The land was purchased by the South Australian State Government on the advice of “the Land Board and National Parks Council” from the owner “who were anxious to see scrub remain on the block.

On the 27th day of April 1972, the park was reconstituted as the Lowan Conservation Park upon the proclamation of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.  On the 2nd day of August 1973, land in section 73 of the Hundred of Bowhill was added to the conservation park.

The park consists of tall open scrubland and open mallee.

Birds SA have recorded a total of 88 species of bird in the park including Common Bronzewing, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Weebill, White-winged Chough, Striped Honeyeater, Yellow Thornbill, Chestnut Quail-thrush, Gilbert’s Whistler, Magpie-lark, and Southern Scrub-Robin.

The park takes its name from the endangered Malleefowl which is also known as the Lowan.

I entered the park via one of the open gates on Gribble Bore Road and travelled down the 4WD track.

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I found a small clearing and set up my gear, the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Lowan Conservation Park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Once again I had very little if any phone coverage in the park.  I called CQ on 7.144 and within a short period of time, Deryck VK4FDJL came back to my call.  John VK2MOP followed, then Peter VK1JH on his way to a SOTA summit, and then Warren VK7WN/p on Bruny Island.

My first Park to Park for the activation came 13 QSOs into the activation.  It was with Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Rokeby Flora Reserve VKFF-2428.  A few QSOs later I was called by Peter VK1JH who was now on top of his SOTA summit, Tuggeranong Hill VK1/ AC-038.  A few QSOs I had another Park to Park in the log, with a QSO with Rob VK4AAC/3 in the Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978.

I logged a total of 51 QSOs on 40m including three more Park to Park contacts: Ian VK1DI/p in the Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve VKFF-0841; Adam VK2YK/p in the Medowie State Conservation Area VKFF-1349; and David VK2JDS/m in the Sturt National Park VKFF-0470.

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I then headed off to 20m where I logged 8 stations from VK2, VK4, New Zealand, and Canada.  I was very surprised to be called by Marvin VE3VEE in Canada.

It was then off to 80m where I called CQ on 3.610.  Andy VK5LA in the Riverland was first in the log, followed by Marija VK5FMAZ, and then John VK5BJE.  I logged a total of QSOs on 80m including three Park to Park contacts with Ian VK1DI/p in the Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve VKFF-0841; Gerard VK2IO/5 in the Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park VKFF-1755; and Peter VK3PF/p in the Sweetwater Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2200.

To conclude the activation I moved back to 40m.  I now had 68 contacts in the log.  I logged a further 14 stations on 40m including Max IK1GPG in Italy, and two further Park to Parks: Adam VK2YK/p in the Tilligerry State Conservation Area VKFF-1377; and Peter VK3PF/p in the Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055.

It was now 3.30 p.m. and time to head home.  It had been another great activation, with 82 contacts in the log including 12 Park to Park QSOs.

Again, MANY THANKS to those who spotted me.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4FDJL
  2. VK2MOP
  3. VK1JH
  4. VK7WN/p
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK4RF
  7. VK4HA
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK2HHA
  12. VK2CZ
  13. VK3PF/p (Rokeby Flora Reserve VKFF-2428)
  14. VK3MPR
  15. VK1JH/p (Tuggeranong Hill VK1/ AC-038)
  16. VK4SMA
  17. VK2NP
  18. VK2VW
  19. VK4AAC/3 (Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978)
  20. VK2VH/2 (Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978)
  21. VK2FGJO
  22. VK5LA
  23. Vk3PAT
  24. VK3MCK
  25. VK4FARR
  26. VK5BJE
  27. VK4CZ
  28. VK3MAB
  29. VK2KNV/m
  30. VK2DJP
  31. VK4TJ
  32. VK4/AC8WN
  33. VK4/VE6XT
  34. VK3ANL
  35. VK3ZNK
  36. VK3BHR
  37. VK5FANA
  38. VK3CWF
  39. VK6EA
  40. VK1DI/p (Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve VKFF-0841)
  41. VK2YK/p (Medowie State Conservation Area VKFF-1349)
  42. VK2PKT
  43. VK2ADB
  44. VK3SWV/p
  45. VK5PE
  46. VK2JDS/m (Sturt National Park VKFF-0470)
  47. VK3FLAK/p
  48. VK5IS
  49. VK5CZ
  50. VK3PF/m
  51. VK2KT
  52. VK7AN
  53. VK4MWB
  54. VK7DW/m
  55. VK4FDJL/m
  56. VK2YK/p (Tilligerry State Conservation Area VKFF-1377)
  57. VK3FRC
  58. VK3MKE
  59. IK1GPG
  60. VK4FGZA/2
  61. VK2ESG
  62. VK3MRO/m
  63. VK2QK
  64. VK3PF/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  65. VK2KJJ

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2VW
  2. VE3VEE
  3. ZL1TM
  4. VK6XN
  5. VK6EA
  6. VK4TJ
  7. VK4/AC8WN
  8. VK4/VE6XT

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5LA
  2. VK5FMAZ
  3. VK5BJE
  4. VK5ZX
  5. VK1DI/p (Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve VKFF-0841)
  6. VK2IO/5 (Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park VKFF-1755)
  7. VK5FANA
  8. VK3SQ
  9. VK3PF/p (Sweetwater Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2200)

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/lowan-conservation-park/>, viewed 6th July 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowan_Conservation_Park>, viewed 6th July 2019

Ettrick Conservation Park 5CP-267 and VKFF-1029

Today (Saturday 6th July 2019) was a beautiful sunny day ahead of some wet weather coming in from the west.  So I took the opportunity of heading east to activate some Murray Mallee parks.  The first park was to be the Ettrick Conservation Park 5CP-267 & VKFF-1029.  I have activated and qualified this park previously so today’s activation would go towards the Boomerang Award.

The park is located about 110 km east of Adelaide and about 33 km north east of the town of Murray Bridge.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Ettrick Conservation Park in the Murray Mallee.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I left home at around 9.30 a.m. and headed east along the South Eastern Freeway to Murray Bridge.  I then headed north on Burdett Road and stopped briefly to admire some of the views of the Murray River.

I then turned right onto Glenburr Road.  This took me past a number of cropping properties and some old abandoned stone farm buildings.

About 4-5 km along Glenburr Road I reached the junction with Boundary Road.  This is the northwestern corner of the park which is not signposted.  I have mentioned this in previous posts, but do not get some of the surrounding scrub confused with the park and end up on private property.  There is a lot of native vegetation around the park which is not part of the Ettrick Conservation Park.

The Ettrick Conservation Park was established on the 31st day of October 2013 and is about 479 hectares in size.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Ettrick Conservation Park looking north.  The Murray River can be seen to the north of the park.  Image courtesy of Google Maps.

The park takes its name after the Hundred of Ettrick which was proclaimed on 4th May 1893. It was named by Governor Kintore who hailed from Scotland where there is a ‘Parish of Ettrick’ in Selkirk, derived from the Gaelic eadar-dha-eas – ‘between two waterfalls’.

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ABove:- Ninth Earl of Kintore, Governor Kintore.  Image courtesy of adb.anu.edu.au

The park is made up of open mallee with several species of Eucalpyt.  It is also home to one of the few remaining examples of tussock grassland in this part of the Murray Darling Basin.  The park is an important refuge for species such as the Malleefowl and Regent Parrot.

Birds SA have recorded about 65 species of bird in the park including Mallee Ringneck, Galah, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Spotted Pardalote, White-browed Babbler, White-winged Chough, Peaceful Dove, Purple-backed Fairywren, Splendid Fairywren, Grey Butcherbird, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, and Gilbert’s Whistler.

If you follow the main track through the park it will bring you to an old abandoned farmhouse which I suspect was the original homestead on the property before it was acquired by the South Australian Government as a park.

I travelled along a 4WD track which led into the park via a gateway (minus the gate) on Glenburr Road.  I found a clearing in amongst the scrub and set up my station comprising the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.  I ran about 30 watts for this activation.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the park showing my operating spot. Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I had very little phone coverage in the park so had a lot of difficulty in trying to self-post on parksnpeaks.  I called CQ on 7.144 and this was almost immediately answered by Hans VK5YX with a big signal from the southern suburbs of Adelaide.  I had forgotten to write down the park reference so Hans kindly looked it up for me.  Geoff VK3SQ and Brett VK2VW followed and I was informed that Rob VK4AAC/3 was down on 80m in a park.  So it was down with the squid pole and in with the 80m sections of the antenna and off to 3.640.  I logged Rob who was activating the Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978.

I then headed back to 7.144 on 40m and found that there was quite a pile up waiting for me.  I logged Lee VK2LEE, followed by Mike VK6MB/2 in the Kemendok National Park VKFF-1174.  About 8 QSOs later Rob VK4AAC/3 gave me a shout for a Park to Park on a different band.

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Within an hour I had 44 contacts in the log, with QSO number 44 being with Peter VK2FPAR.  A few QSOs after Pete I had my fifth Park to Park QSO in the log with a contact with Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Rokeby Flora Reserve VKFF-2428.

I logged a total of 49 stations on 40m before heading over to the 20m band.  I called CQ and this was answered by Scott VK4CZ with a lovely 5/9 signal, although the pesky Over the Horizon Radar was present on 20m once again.  Hans VK6XN then gave me a shout followed by Ian VK6EA who has become a regular park hunter of late.

I logged 12 stations on 20m and then headed down to 3.610 on 80m.  As I had no internet coverage I was hoping there may be someone on that frequency monitoring.  And fortunately, there was.  John VK5BJE was first in the log, followed by Peter VK3PF/p in the Rokeby Flora Reserve VKFF-2428, and finally Gerard VK2IO/5.

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I had 64 contacts in the log in a little under 90 minutes and it was time to pack up and head off to my next park the Lowan Conservation Park.

A BIG THANKS to those who took the time to spot me during this activation.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5YX
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK2VW
  4. VK2LEE
  5. VK6MB/2 (Kemendok National Park VKFF-1174)
  6. VK4RF
  7. VK4HA
  8. VK1MA
  9. VK3MCK
  10. VK2HHA
  11. VK2PKT
  12. VK5BJE
  13. VK4AAC/3 (Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978)
  14. VK2VH/3 (Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978)
  15. VK2NP
  16. VK2YK
  17. VK4NH
  18. VK4DXA
  19. ZL4TY/VK4
  20. VK4CZ
  21. VK4FARR
  22. VK2FADV
  23. VK4HNS
  24. VK4TJ
  25. VK4/AC8WN
  26. VK4/VE6XT
  27. VK3MPR
  28. VK2MJW
  29. VK4HAT
  30. VK1AT
  31. VK2CTG
  32. VK7FJFD
  33. VK6EA
  34. VK3XPT
  35. VK3CM
  36. VK3AHR
  37. VK7FEAT/m
  38. VK4MWB
  39. VK2XXM
  40. VK7NSS
  41. VK2MOR
  42. VK3ZNK
  43. VK2FPAR
  44. VK4FDJL
  45. VK3PF/p (Rokeby Flora Reserve VKFF-2428)
  46. VK7FRJG
  47. VK3LTL
  48. VK7VZ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK4AAC/3 (Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978)
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK3PF/p (Rokeby Flora Reserve VKFF-2428)
  4. VK2IO/5

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4CZ
  2. VK6XN
  3. VK6EA
  4. VK2LEE
  5. VK2NP
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. ZL4TY/VK4
  9. ZL1TM
  10. VK4TJ
  11. VK4/AC8WN
  12. VK4/VE6XT

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/ettrick-conservation-park/>, viewed 6th July 2019

State Library of South Australia, 2019, <http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/digitalpubs/placenamesofsouthaustralia/>, viewed 6th July 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ettrick_Conservation_Park>, viewed 6th July 2019

Kinchina Conservation Park 5CP-277 and VKFF-1764

Today (Friday 5th July 2019) after work I headed to the Kinchina Conservation Park 5CP-277 & VKFF-1764 for a quick late afternoon activation.  I have activated and qualified Kinchina a number of times previously, so today’s activation for me would count towards the Boomerang Award.

The Kinchina Conservation Park is located just to the west of the town of Murray Bridge, about 75 km east of the city of Adelaide.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Kinchina Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I drove east along the South Eastern Freeway and took the Monarto exit.  I then travelled east on the Old Princes Highway and then turned left onto Maurice Road.  This is good cropping land, and many of the crops were full of kangaroos.  Much to the farmer’s disgust, I suspect.

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I soon reached the western section of the Kinchina Conservation Park which is very well signposted.

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The Kinchina Conservation Park was established on the 22nd day of September 2016 and is 414 hectares in size.  It is located in the north of the Gifford Hill Range on the eastern flanks of Rocky Gully and White Hill, west of the town of Murray Bridge.  The Gifford Hill Range was named after South Australian pioneer John Gifford.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Kinchina Conservation Park looking east.  The town of Murray Bridge and the mighty Murray River are located nearby.  Image courtesy of Google maps

During my visit to the park, it was alive with Western Grey Kangaroos.  The beautiful Diamond Firetail finch can be found in the park.  However, it wasn’t spotted by me during this visit.  I did, however, see a number of other bird species including Red Wattlebirds and Mulga parrots.

Walking SA has a number of great walks in this park listed on their website.

I parked my vehicle in the second carpark along Maurice Road, just above the Mobilong Prison.  I walked a short distance inside the park gate and set up my station consisting of the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.  I ran about 30 watts for this activation.

I placed a self spot on parksnpeaks and started calling CQ on 7.144.  First in the log was Brett VK2VW with a big 5/9 plus signal, followed by John VK4TJ, Deryck VK4FDJL, and then Rick VK4RF.

I logged a total of 18 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK4, VK7 and New Zealand.  Not a single station from Victoria or South Australia was logged.  It appeared that the close in propagation was not working resulting in no VK5’s.  I’ve also noted of recent times that the 40m band often shuts down into Victoria.  And today was no exception.

It was getting a bit late, about 0715 UTC, but I then headed off to the 20m band.  I called CQ on 14.310 and logged a total of 5 stations, all from Queensland.

IMG_2221

I then tried my luck on 80m.  For whatever reason, I had strength 7 noise on that band, which resulted in me missing a few callers.  However, I did log a total of 22 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 and VK7.  This included a number of stations from Victoria and South Australia, but also as far afield as Queensland.

To complete the activation I went back to 40m hoping to log Stuie VK8NSB in Darwin who had posted on Facebook that he was keen for a contact and unable to hear me on 20m.  However, it was not to be.  I logged 5 stations from VK2, VK4, VK6, and Vanuatu.  It was a real pleasure to be called by Mike YJ0MB in Vanuatu who had a bit 5/9 signal.

IMG_2223.JPG

I was being eaten alive by the mosquitoes and it was time for me to pack up and head for home.  I had a total of 50 stations in the log.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2VW
  2. VK4TJ
  3. VK4/AC8WN
  4. VK4/VE6XT
  5. VK4FDJL
  6. VK4RF
  7. VK4HA
  8. VK4CZ
  9. VK4FARR
  10. VK1DI
  11. ZL1TM
  12. VK2MG
  13. VK2FSAV
  14. VK2NP
  15. VK2YK
  16. VK2DJP
  17. VK2JON
  18. VK7AN
  19. VK4HDY
  20. VK4SMA
  21. VK2MOR
  22. YJ0MB
  23. VK6EA

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. VK4CZ
  5. VK4FE

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK2NP
  4. VK3ARH
  5. VK5AYL
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK4HNS
  8. VK5YX
  9. VK5CZ
  10. VK5LA
  11. VK7AN
  12. VK3FORD
  13. VK2YK
  14. VK5PTL
  15. VK3MCK
  16. VK3LAJ
  17. VK5JDS
  18. VK3AJA
  19. VK3MPR
  20. VK5SF
  21. VK3ZPF
  22. VK4JK

 

 

References.

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinchina_Conservation_Park>, viewed 5th July 2019

Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park 5CP-276 and VKFF-1763

This afternoon (Tuesday 2nd July 2019) I headed out to the Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park 5CP-276 & VKFF-1763.  I have activated and qualified this park previously, so today’s activation was to go towards the VKFF Boomerang Award.  Another reason for heading out into the field today was to film a short introduction to another video for the VKFF YouTube channel.  I also intended taking a few photos to enter into the Birdlife Australia photographic competition.

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 8.24.38 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park east of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I headed out to Callington and headed up the hill out of Callington on the old Princes Highway.  There are some great views to be had here of the Bremer Valley.

DSC_8291

During the 1970s, plans were implemented by the Labor State Government under the leadership of Don Dunstan to establish a satellite city at Monarto, about 70 km east of Adelaide.  Concerns were held that the city of Adelaide would become overpopulated following rapid population growth.  Originally named ‘Murray New Town’, the proposed city was subsequently known as the ‘City of Monarto’.  Dunstan’s vision did not succeed.  In 1975 the Australian Federal Whitlam government was controversially dismissed which resulted in the “new cities programme” programme being shut down.

1920px-Don_Dunstan_1968_crop.jpg

ABove;- Don Dunstan.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The video below was produced by the South Australian Film Corporation in 1975.  It gives an interesting insight into the farmers of the area at the time, many of whom sold their land believing that the satellite city would go ahead.

As part of the Monarto development, substantial areas of cleared farming land were revegetated.  This was in an effort to beautify the environment, reduce dust and make the area more attractive for human habitation.  This has been the largest revegetation program conducted in South Australia, with some 600,000 plants established on 1850 ha of land.  A total of  250 species of trees and large shrubs were planted.

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 8.33.05 pm.png

Above:- Aerial shot of the Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park, looking west back towards Adelaide.  The blue marker is my home location.

The Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park is a relatively new park.  It was gazetted on the 22nd day of September 2016 and is 426 hectares in size.  Monarto takes its name from the Hundred of Monarto which was gazetted in 1847.  It was named after ‘Queen Monarto’ an aboriginal woman who lived in the area at the time.  In 1908 the town of Monarto was laid out.

During my visit to the park, I saw numerous Western Grey kangaroos, a number of whom had joeys in their pouches.

About 92 species of native birds have been recorded in the Monarto area including 40 species which are considered to be declining.  During my visit, I was hoping to spot a Diamond Firetail finch, but I wasn’t that lucky.  But I did spot many other birds, some of which feature in my photos below.

I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.  The dipole is supported on a 7-metre telescopic squid pole and is inverted vee configuration.

After turning the transceiver on, I asked if the frequency was in use on 7.144.  Geoff VK3SQ and Peter VK3PF both came back to let me know it was clear.  Amazing how popular the WWFF program has become in Australia in recent years.  This happens regularly, in that, I don’t even need to call CQ.

After logging Geoff and Peter, Dennis VK2HHA then called, followed by Brett VK2VW, Peter VK2KNV mobile, and then Glenn VK4FARR.  Brett and Glenn kindly spotted me on parksnpeaks which resulted in a mini pile up, despite it being a weekday.

I logged 44 contacts in around 60 minutes with contacts into VK2, VK3, VK4, VK6, VK7 and New Zealand.  This included a Park to Park with Peter VK3TKK/p who was activating the Sydney Harbour National Park VKFF-0473.  I was also called by Tony VK7LTD/p and Angela VK7FAMP/p who were operating from SOTA summit VK7/ NE-034.

DSC_8293

I then headed to 14.310 on the 20m band and started calling CQ after putting up a self spot on parksnpeaks.  Rick VK4RF was first in the log on 20m, followed by Cliff VK2NP and then Ray VK4NH.  I logged a total of 9 stations on 20m including another Park to Park with Peter VK3TKK/2 on a second band from Sydney Harbour.

When callers slowed down I tuned across the band and heard a few North American stations at around strength 7-8.  The ANZA DX Net was running on 14.183 and was about to close, so I quickly booked in and was lucky enough to work Stan KE5EE with a strong 5/8 signal.  He gave me a 5/7 signal report.

I then moved down to 80m where I was hoping to log some of the local South Australian stations, as I had not logged a single VK5 on 40m.  I logged a total of 6 stations on 3.610.  Four of those were from VK5, while two were from VK3.

To conclude the activation I had one last go on 40m calling CQ on 7.144.  I logged a further 9 stations.

DSC_8298

It was now just before 4.30 p.m. local time and it was time for me to pack up and go for a walk through the park.  I had a total of 69 stations in the log.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK3AHR
  5. VK2VW
  6. VK2KNV/m
  7. VK4FARR
  8. VK4FDJL
  9. VK4NH
  10. VK4DXA
  11. ZL4TY/VK4
  12. VK4RF
  13. VK4HA
  14. VK4CPS
  15. VK4AAC/2
  16. VK2VH
  17. VK2FGJO
  18. VK7QP
  19. VK2NP
  20. VK2JON
  21. VK2HRX
  22. VK3DBP/2
  23. ZL1TM
  24. VK3LAJ
  25. VK2YMU
  26. VK4HNS
  27. VK3TKK/2 (Sydney Harbour National Park VKFF-0472)
  28. VK4TJ
  29. VK4/AC8WN
  30. VK4/VE6XT
  31. VK6EA
  32. VK3MCK
  33. VK4VXX/m
  34. VK3ZNK/m
  35. VK2UXO
  36. VK3ZMD
  37. VK3BBB/p
  38. VK7LTD/p (SOTA VK7/ NE-034)
  39. VK7FAMP/p (SOTA VK7/ NE-034)
  40. VK3UH
  41. VK4/AG7WB
  42. VK2KJJ
  43. VK3FMPC
  44. VK3CU
  45. VK7ROY
  46. VK1MA
  47. VK7FJFD
  48. VK3MPR
  49. VK3MKE
  50. VK2XSE
  51. VK1DI
  52. VK2HBO
  53. VK2LEE

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK2NP
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK4MWB
  8. VK6EA
  9. VK3TKK/2 (Sydney Harbour National Park VKFF-0472)
  10. KE5EE

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK2IO/5
  5. VK3BBB
  6. VK5AYL

 

 

References.

Birds Australia, 2019, ‘The State of Australia’s Birds 2019’

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarto,_South_Australia>, viewed 2nd July 2019

Morialta Conservation Park 5CP-142 and VKFF-0783

Today (Monday 1st July 2019) was the first of my 2 days off after working 7 shifts straight.  And as it was a fine day I packed the 4WD and headed to the Morialta Conservation Park 5CP-142 & VKFF-0783.  I have activated and qualified Morialta previously, so today’s activation was to go towards the Boomerang Award.  Morialta CP is located about 12 km east of the city of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 8.08.52 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Morialta Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

To get to the park I headed west on the South Eastern Freeway and took the Bridgewater exit and into the town of Uraidla.  I then took the Lobethal Road into the town of Norton Summit and then travelled north on Colonial Drive.

This took me passed the Morialta Barns which were built in the late 1840s by John Baker who arrived in the colony of South Australia in 1838.  Baker built the mansion Morialta at Magill in 1847.

John_Baker_SA

Above:- John Baker.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The barns were part of the Morialta House Estate where a farm and orchard was established.  The stone buildings of Morialta Barns included two barns, a well house, a bakehouse, a dairy, stables, a stoned walled enclosure around the barns, the original stables and coach house, poultry shed, an old piggery, and a number of other small farm buildings.

DSC_8212

I continued along Colonial Drive and soon reached Morialta cottage.  This is often confused for the Morialta Homestead built by John Baker in 1847.

DSC_8214

I turned up Moores Road and soon reached the eastern side of the park.  I continued along Moores Road and parked at the carpark at the end of Moores Road.  Although some maps may show that Moores Road continues, it does not.  There is a locked gate here and only foot traffic is allowed from this point on.

The Morialta Conservation Park is about in size and was established on the 15th day of July 1915.  The park consists of a narrow gorge with three waterfalls, bounded by steep ridges and cliffs.  Morialta is believed to be an aboriginal Karuna word moriatta meaning “ever flowing” or “running water”,

The park is bounded by Black Hill Conservation Park on the north, Norton Summit road on the south, the suburb of Rostrevor on the west, and by agricultural land on the east.  The park caters for a variety of activities, including bushwalking, picnics, rock climbing and bird watching

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 8.17.11 pm

Above:- An aerial view of the Morialta Conservation Park looking west back towards the city of Adelaide.  Image courtesy of Google Maps.

John Smith Reid was a major landholder in the area.  In 1911, he offered to donate part of his land as a national reserve.  In 1913 Reid donated 218 hectares (540 acres), and in 1915 the area was declared a National Pleasure Resort.

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 9.08.09 pm.png

Above:- Newspaper article from the Adelaide Register, Fri 18th April 1913

Much of the construction work in the park was commenced in the 1920s and 1930s, although floods and bushfires have destroyed much of this original work.  In 1966 additional property to the east was added, and the park was declared a National park.  In 1972 the park was re-proclaimed as Morialta Conservation Park.

There are a number of walks in the park with all tracks being well signposted.  There are also a number of information boards.

Birds SA have recorded about 92 species of native bird in the park including Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Adelaide Rosella, Rainbow Lorikeet, Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater, Striated Pardalote, Black-winged Currawong, Australian Magpie, Magpie-lark, Little Raven, Little Buttonquail, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, and Restless Flycatcher.

DSC_8250

The video below will give you a good idea on the beauty of this park.

I set up on the edge of Third Falls Track.  It was just a short walk from the vehicle and there was plenty of room to string out the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 8.04.40 pm.png

Above:- Aerial shot of the Morialta Conservation Park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I called CQ on 7.144 with Peter VK3PF being first in the log, followed by Deryck VK4FDJL, and then a Park to Park with Nik VK3ZNK/p who was in the Yarrawonga Regional Park VKFF-0981.  Despite it being a weekday, there was a steady flow of callers.  It is a testament as to how popular the WWFF program has become in Australia nowadays.  Within half an hour I had 33 stations in the log.

I moved down to the 80m band to 3.610 and asked if the frequency was in use.  John VK5BJE came back to advise he and others had been waiting for me.  I was then called by Hans VK5YX, Ian VK5CZ in the Clare Valley, and Tony VK5FBIC.

I then saw a spot pop up on parksnpeaks on 40m for Mike VK6MB/3 who was activating a park.  So I quickly lowered the squid pole and took out the links and headed to 7.144.  I logged Mike who was in the Tragowel Swamp Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2216.

After logging Mike I moved back down to 80m where I logged two stations, Keith VK3MKE and Nik VK3ZNK/p in the Yarrawonga Regional Park VKFF-0981 for a second band.

I then saw another spot pop up for Angela VK7FAMP.  So it was back to 40m where I spoke with Angela who was in the St Helens Conservation Area VKFF-1153.  This was my fourth Park to Park for the activation.

I then tried my luck on the 20m band but was to be sadly disappointed.  The 20m band has been incredibly poor of late and today was no exception.  I tried 14.310 the normal WWFF calling frequency in Australia, but I was being drowned out by the Over the Horizon Radar.  So I moved down to 20m and called CQ which was answered by Matt VK1MA.  Matt was 5/5 and gave me a 3/3.  About 5 minutes more of CQ calls yielded no callers on that band.

So it was back to 40m where I called CQ on 7.140.  Peter VK2UXO was the first to call with his normal big signal.  Next was Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand who is a regular park hunter.  I logged a further 6 stations and whilst monitoring parksnpeaks I saw a spot for Gerard VK2IO/5 just below me.  I moved down to 7.135 and logged Gerard, Park to Park from the Granite Island Recreation Park VKFF-1711.

To conclude the activation I moved back up to 7.140 where I logged a further 9 stations.

DSC_8222

I had 60 contacts in the log and the temperature had now dropped to 9 deg C.  It was time for me to pack up and head off for a bush walk through the park.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK4FDJL
  3. VK3ZNK/p (Yarrawonga Regional Park VKFF-0981)
  4. VK5CZ
  5. VK5BJE
  6. VK3SQ
  7. VK3MPR
  8. VK2NP
  9. VK2VW
  10. VK3DBP/2
  11. VK4NH
  12. VK4DXA
  13. ZL4TY/VK4
  14. VK3ALA
  15. VK4MWB
  16. VK3PAT
  17. VK4RF
  18. VK4HA
  19. VK2DWP/m
  20. VK4HNS
  21. VK4FOMP
  22. VK4TJ
  23. VK4/AC8WN
  24. VK4/VE6XT
  25. VK5YX
  26. VK6KJ
  27. VK6EA
  28. VK5FBIC
  29. VK5SF
  30. VK2AD
  31. VK2YK
  32. VK7LG
  33. VK2MGM
  34. VK6MB/3 (Tragowel Swamp Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2216)
  35. VK7FAMP/p (St Helens Conservation Area VKFF-1153)
  36. VK2UXO
  37. ZL1TM
  38. VK4FARR
  39. VK1MA
  40. VK3ARH
  41. VK2LEE
  42. VK5KLD
  43. VK4FAJP
  44. VK2IO/5 (Granite Island Recreation Park VKFF-1711)
  45. VK7ALH
  46. VK7XDM
  47. VK3XDM/7
  48. VK7FRJG
  49. VK2PKT
  50. VK5HV
  51. VK2OQ/m
  52. VK3MCK
  53. VK3IO

I logged the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5YX
  3. VK5CZ
  4. VK5FBIC
  5. VK3ZNK/p (Yarrawonga Regional Park VKFF-0981)
  6. VK3MKE

I worked the following station on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK1MA

I went for a stroll along Moores Track which is well signposted.

DSC_8227

Along the way, I enjoyed some fine views through the trees.

A bit further along the track, I came to a cleared area for power lines which assisted in a less obstructed view of the surrounding countryside.

I then walked back to the car and took a drive along Montacute Road, stopping every now and again to admire the views and take a few photographs.

I also stopped off to have a look at the historic St Pauls Church at Montacute which was consecrated on the 9th day of March 1886.

The church sits on the top of an impressive hill with some terrific views of the surrounding countryside.

I was getting hungry and headed for home, enjoying a quite spectacular sunset.

DSC_8289

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/morialta-conservation-park/>, viewed 1st July 2019

The Heysen Trail, 2019, <https://heysentrail.asn.au/trailwalker/article/the-morialta-barns/>, viewed 1st July 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morialta_Conservation_Park>, viewed 1st July 2019