Our third and final activation for Sunday was the Hogwash Bend Conservation Park, which is located near Waikerie in the Riverland region of South Australia, about 183 km north east of Adelaide. This was to be another unique park for me.
Above:- the location of the Hogwash Bend CP. Image courtesy of mapcarta.com
The Hogwash Bend CP was gazetted in 2012 and is about 286 hectares in size. It is located on the banks of the mighty River Murray. I have not been able to find out how the park got its name.
The park was acquired by the South Australian State Government and the Australian Federal Government under the National Reserve System program to protect the largest breeding colony of Regent Parrots in South Australia. There are thought to be only 300 breeding pairs of Regent parrots along the Murray. And in Hogwash Bend, around 50 pairs use the ideal breeding habittat of mature river red gums, nesting sites and large areas of mature mallee scrubland. Hogwash Bend plays an important role in the bird’s future which is listed as vulnerable at both State and National level.
Above:- Regent parrot. Image courtesy of wikipedia
There is an excellent website dedicated to Regent parrots which can be found at…..
In fact, the group is very keen to hear from people who sight a Regent Parrot. You can telephone 1800PARROT.
Hogwash Bend was just a short 14 km drive from the Ramco Point Conservation Park. We entered the park off Cadell Valley Road. The park is well signposted and there is a nice dirt road down to the park which is easily negotiated with a car and even a caravan. The camping area was very busy with lots of campers and caravaners. So we headed to the eastern side of the camping area and set up in the scrub.
Above:- My operating spot. Image courtesy of mapcarta.com
The park was alive with birdlife, but unfortunately we did not spot a Regent parrot. But I did see a Whistling kite which flew into a nearby gumtree and sat there for some time, allowing me to take a number of photographs.
There was also a Spoonbill busy in a nearby pond and a number of pelicans on the river.
I did intend to operate on 7.095 but there were some VK6 guys operating on 7.093. A few of them were mobile, and had very good signals into Hogwash Bend. So I moved up a little higher to 7.096 and called CQ and this was answered by David VK5KC and then Les VK5KLV, followed by Al VK7AN and then Tony VK3VTH mobile. I then called for any QRP stations and I worked Adrian VK5FANA QRP 5 watts and Bernard VK3AV QRP 4 watts. I had quite a steady flow of callers from VK3 & VK5.
I managed one park to park contact and that was with Stef VK5HSX who was portable in the Flinders Ranges National Park. I also worked Allen VK3HRA who was portable on SOTA peak Crowsnest Lookout, VK3/ VS-049.
I then moved over to 20m and called CQ on 14.312. This was answered by Gerard VK2IO who had a lovely 5/9 signal, followed by Xaver DK4RM, Jarrad VK3HXT, and then Albert S58AL. I went on to work a total of 38 stations on 20m from VK2, VK3, VK6, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, USA, France, Ukraine, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Russia, Hungary, and New Zealand. It was very pleasing to get a number of calls from USA stations who were copying me well. And again I managed to work my very good mate Marnix OP7M. Copy this time at Marnix end was not as good as previously. But the 20m band was still opening up.
Unfortunately time was marching on and I needed to pack up, as I still had a 2 & 1/2 hour drive to get home. I had a total of 62 contacts in the log.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK5HSX/p (Flinders Ranges National Park)
- VK3HRA/p (SOTA VK3/ VS-049)
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
Government of South Australia, 2014, River Murray-South East Nature Link