Tilley Swamp Conservation Park 5CP-232 and VKFF-0938

On the weekend of Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th March 2019, the special activation weekend was held for the 6th anniversary of the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award.

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Marija and I had planned to stay 3 nights at Beachport in the South East of South Australia.  Our plans were to activate 2 parks on Friday on the way down to Beachport, a further 4 parks over the weekend, and then 2 parks on the way home on Monday.

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Above:- Our route from Mount Barker to Beachport.  Map courtesy of Plotaroute.

Our first activation on the trip was the Tilley Swamp Conservation Park 5CP-232 & VKFF-0938,  is located about 199 km south east of Adelaide, and about 40 km south of Salt Creek.  The park is located about 5 km inland from the Coorong coast in the Upper South East of South Australia.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Tilley Swamp Conservation Park in the upper south east of South Australia.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

We left home at about 7.45 a.m. and travelled east on the South Eastern Freeway to Tailem Bend, and then turned off onto the Princes Highway.  Our first stop for the day was for a coffee and some breakfast in the town of Meningie, on the banks of Lake Albert.

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Above:- Sailing on Lake Albert

We got a coffee and a toasted sandwich at the local bakery and then headed down to the foreshore.  There is a monument here for the Birdman of the Coorong, John Francis Peggotty.  He was a local bushranger who often rode on the back of an ostrich, one of the many set free when the market for fashionable ostrich feathers ceased.  There is also a monument re the crash of an Avro Anson aircraft into Lake Albert in 1942.

As Meningie is set on Lake Albert, there are plenty of waterbirds to be found at Meningie.

We then continued out of Meningie on the Princes Highway and soon reached the waters of the Coorong.

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Above:- The Coorong, near Meningie.

The Tilley Swamp Conservation Park is about 1,525 hectares in size and was proclaimed and gazetted in 1993, primarily to ‘conserve remnant vegetation associations’.  It is one of a few reserves in the district containing threatened plant species.  The park also provides habitat for several other threatened species including the Metallic Sun-orchid, Common Wombat, and Rufous Bristlebird.   A large portion of Tilley Swamp Conservation Park contains a seasonally inundated wetland system which forms part of the Tilley Swamp Watercourse.

The park takes its name from the locality, Tilley Swamp, which was named after William Tilley, an early pastoral leaseholder.  On 1st July 1851 Tilley took up pastoral lease no. 199 known as Miserable Creek, calling it Tilley’s Swamp.  Tilley constructed Tilley’s Accomodation House which was one of the stages on the Overland Road to the Victorian gold fields.  The aborigines knew the district as kopanopintar-kopan.  Kopan -‘one’ and pintar -‘stone axe’.

A number of native animals and birds call the park home.  Bird species include the vulnerable Rufous Bristlebird, Yellow Thornbill, Beautiful Firetail, Southern Emu-wren, and Elegant Parrot.  Native animals include the Common Wombat, Red-necked Wallaby, and Western Grey kangaroo.

The park was devastated by a bushfire in February 2013, and during our visit, it was clear that the park was still recovering.

We continued through Policemans Point and Salt Creek, and then turned left into Petherick Road.  We soon reached the conservation park which was well signposted.

I activated this park back in June 2014, but this was prior to Tilley Swamp being included in the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  That activation was for the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award, only.

https://vk5pas.org/2014/06/11/tilley-swamp-conservation-park/

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We entered the park through a closed, but unlocked set of gates, and set up just off a 4WD track.  For this activation, we ran the Yaesu FT-897 and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.  Power output was 10 watts PEP for Marija, and 40 watts for me.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I kicked off the activation, calling CQ on 7.144, while Marija placed a spot for me on both parksnpeaks and on Facebook.  Unfortunately, the static crashes on the 40m band were peaking strength 9, making it quite difficult at time.  First in the log was Ron VK3AHR at Wodonga, followed by Dennis VK2HHA, Peter VK3PF, and then Tony VK3XV mobile in VK5.

It was quite slow going on the band, and it took me 8 minutes to get contact number 10 in the log.  That being a QSO with Ken VK3UH.  I logged a further 2 contacts, before swapping the mic with Marija.

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Marija’s first contact was with Ken VK2KYO, followed by Ron VK3AHR, and then Ken VK3UH.  It took Marija 12 minutes to get 10 contacts in the log, qualifying the park for VKFF.  Once Marija had 11 contacts in the log, we once again swapped the mic.

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Marija and I lowered the squid pole, and inserted the links for the 80m band, and I started calling CQ on 3.610.  Adrian VK5FANA was the first station logged on 80m, followed by Joe VK5WU, and then Ivan VK5HS who was mobile.  Despite the band conditions being quite good, I only logged the 3 stations on 80m.

It was then back to 40m, where I logged a further 13 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK7.  This included Angela VK7FAMP/p and Tony VK7LTD/p who were both portable in the Wye River State Reserve VKFF-1841.  Marija also logged Angela and Tony.

I then decided to try my luck on the 20m band.  I called CQ on 14.310 and logged 6 stations, all from Queensland.  I now had 34 contacts in the log, and needed just 10 more to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.

I then called CQ for about 5 minutes on 21.244 on 15m, but did not have a single taker.  So I moved back to 40m and called CQ on 7.144.  Unfortunately, there were very few takers, and I logged just 2 more stations, Geoff VK3SQ, and Peter VK3KAI.  Five more minutes of CQ calls failed to yield any callers.

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I had fallen short by 8 QSOS, of qualifying the park for WWFF.  This is a park I will have to go back to.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2KYO
  2. VK3AHR
  3. VK3UH
  4. VK2QR
  5. VK3PF
  6. VK2JDL
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4/AC8WN
  9. VK4/VE6XT
  10. VK2HHA
  11. VK2FAAA/m
  12. VK7FAMP/p (Wye River State Reserve VKFF-1841)
  13. VK7LTD/p (Wye River State Reserve VKFF-1841)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3AHR
  2. VK2HHA
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK3XV/5
  5. VK2QR
  6. VK2IO
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4/AC8WN
  9. VK4/VE6XT
  10. VK3UH
  11. VK2KYO
  12. VK4HNS
  13. VK4CPS
  14. VK7FAMP/p (Wye River State Reserve VKFF-1841)
  15. VK7LTD/p (Wye River State Reserve VKFF-1841)
  16. VK6MB/3
  17. VK2KNV/m
  18. VK4FDJL
  19. VK4NH
  20. VK4DXA
  21. ZL4TY/VK4
  22. VK3ANL
  23. VK2EMA
  24. VK7KT/m
  25. VK2LEE
  26. VK3SQ
  27. VK3KAI

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5WU
  3. VK5HS/m

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. VK4TJ
  5. VK4/AC8WN
  6. VK4/VE6XT

 

References.

National Parks & Wildlife, 2000, ‘Tilley Swamp Conservation Park Management Plan’.

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilley_Swamp,_South_Australia>, viewed 28th March 2019

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