Beachport Conservation Park 5CP-014 and VKFF-0791

Our second park for Saturday 23rd March 2019 was the Beachport Conservation Park 5CP-014 & VKFF-0791.  The park is located about 383 km south east of Adelaide, and immediately to the north of the town of Beachport.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Beachport Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The Beachport Conservation Park is 875 ha (2,160 acres) and was established on the 1st January 1959.  The park protects sand dunes and coastal vegetation between Lake George and the Southern Ocean.

Lake George is part of the Lake Hawdon System Important Bird Area. The wetland system was identified by BirdLife International as an IBA because it regularly supports over 1% of the world populations of red-necked stint, and often of sharp-tailed sandpipers, double-banded plovers and banded stilts. It also provides habitat for orange-bellied parrots, Australasian bitterns, rufous bristlebirds and striated fieldwrens.

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Above:- Aerial view of the Beachport Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

Marija and I entered the park via Lake George Road and headed to the 3 Mile Bend Campground area.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Beachport Conservation Park, showing our operating spot on the southern shore of Lake George.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

We set up right on the edge of Lake George.  It was a magnificent outlook, looking across the lake, which was alive with birdlife.  Unfortunately, the sun had disappeared and during our activation, we had the occasional sprinkle of rain.

I started calling CQ on 7.144, with first in the log being Nick VK3ANL, followed by Dennis VK2HHA, and then Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784.  I logged a total of 21 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5, including the following Park to Park contacts:

  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Ada Tall Trees Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2253
  • Mike VK6MB/3 – Moondarra State Park VKFF-0764
  • Adrian VK5FANA/p – Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813
  • Tony VK5MRT/p – Lawari Conservation Park 5CP-278 & VKFF-1767
  • Andrew VK5MR/p – Sheoak Hill Conservation Park VKFF-0935

DSC_6542

I had qualified the park for VKFF, so it was Marija’s turn to jump into the operators chair.  First in the log for Marija was Peter VK2UXO with a very big signal, followed by Wayne VK2DWP, and then Andrew VK5MR/p in the Sheoak Hill Conservation Park VKFF-0935.  Within 9 minutes, Marija had qualified the park for VKFF, with 10 QSOs.  Contact number 10 was with regular park hunter, John VK4TJ.

With 19 contacts in the log for Marija, I again called CQ on 7.144 and logged a further 24 stations.  I had now qualified the park for the global WWFF program.  Further Park to Park contacts were as follows:

  • Adam VK2YK/p – Port Stephens/Great Lakes Marine Park VKFF-1410
  • Perrin VK3XPT/p – Barmah National Park VKFF-0739
  • Jonathan VK7JON/p – St Helens Conservation Area VKFF-1152
  • Helen VK7FOLK/p – St Helens Conservation Area VKFF-1152

It was nice to log Perrin VK3XPT who was in the Barmah National Park, and was using a military manpack transceiver.

DSC_6544

Marija and I then moved to the 80m band, where I logged 8 stations, and Marija logged 5 stations.  This included the following Park to Park contacts:

  • VK5FANA/p – Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813
  • VK5FLEA/p – Talisker Conservation Park 5CP-223 & VKFF-0790
  • VK2IO/p – Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784
  • VK5YX/p – Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890
  • VK5LOL/p – Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890

To conclude the activation I went back to 40m to 7.144 and logged a further 6 stations before we called it a day.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2UXO
  2. VK2DWP
  3. VK5MR/p (Sheoak Hill Conservation Park VKFF-0935)
  4. VK2HHA
  5. VK3CWF
  6. VK3NXT
  7. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  8. VK7FAMP/p (Scamander Conservation Area VKFF-1147)
  9. VK7LTD/p (Scamander Conservation Area VKFF-1147)
  10. VK4TJ
  11. VK4/AC8WN
  12. VK4/VE6XT
  13. VK3ZPF
  14. VK7KEV
  15. VK7ALH
  16. VK3UH
  17. VK2KNV
  18. VK5FANA/p (Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813)
  19. VK2EXA
  20. VK2YK/p (Port Stephens/Great Lakes Marine Park VKFF-1410)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA/p (Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813)
  2. VK5FLEA/p (Talisker Conservation Park 5CP-223 & VKFF-0790)
  3. VK5YX/p (Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890)
  4. VK5LOL/p (Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890)
  5. VK7ALH

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ANL
  2. VK2HHA
  3. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  4. VK5KLV
  5. VK4HNS
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. ZL4TY/VK4
  9. VK3MKE
  10. VK3CWF
  11. VK3LTL
  12. VK3UH
  13. VK3PF/p (Ada Tall Trees Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2253)
  14. VK2XSE/m
  15. VK2LEE
  16. VK6MB/3 (Moondarra State Park VKFF-0764)
  17. VK1DI
  18. VK5FANA/p (Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813)
  19. VK5MRT/p (Lawari Conservation Park 5CP-278 & VKFF-1767)
  20. VK3XM
  21. VK5MR/p (Sheoak Hill Conservation Park VKFF-0935)
  22. VK2EXA
  23. VK7KEV
  24. VK7ALH
  25. VK2HOT
  26. VK3SQ
  27. VK3BYD
  28. VK3ZPF
  29. VK2KYO
  30. VK2YK/p (Port Stephens/Great Lakes Marine Park VKFF-1410)
  31. VK2KNV/m
  32. VK2PKT
  33. VK3XPT/p (Barman National Park VKFF-0739)
  34. VK7JON/p (St Helens Conservation Area VKFF-1152)
  35. VK7FOLK/p (St Helens Conservation Area VKFF-1152)
  36. VK2UXO
  37. VK1MIC/p
  38. VK4FDJL
  39. VK3HQZ
  40. VK3MCK
  41. VK4CZ
  42. VK2IR
  43. VK7HCK
  44. VK7LH
  45. ZL1TM
  46. VK3PF/m
  47. VK4MWB
  48. VK3SX
  49. VK3MLU
  50. VK4PDX
  51. VK4FARR

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA/p (Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813)
  2. VK5FLEA/p (Talisker Conservation Park 5CP-223 & VKFF-0790)
  3. VK5LSB
  4. VK3UCD
  5. VK7ALH
  6. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  7. VK5YX/p (Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890)
  8. VK5LOL/p (Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890)

During the activation, Marija and I had both heard gunshots.  At first, I thought it may have been some sort of bird scarer at a nearby property.  But the shots became increasingly louder and appeared to be coming to the west – north west of our location, within the park.  It was quite off-putting, considering the way the world is nowadays.  But when we started hearing shots started coming just to our east, I decided to call the Police.

It was then that Marija saw a person about 300 metres to our east carrying a long object and occasionally walking out into the water.  With the aid of my camera’s telephoto lens, I was able to confirm that there was, in fact, a male with a shotgun.  This was our reason for going QRT quickly.

Once we packed up, Marija and I drove along Lake George Road, on the southwestern shoreline of Lake George.  Sadly, at a number of locations, we located numerous duck heads, duck wings, and gizzards.  The gunshots continued.

We googled duck shooting for Lake George, but could not find anything definitive.  We had not observed any signs to indicate that shooting was taking place, nor was there anything on the Department for Environment and Water website to advise that duck shooting was in progress.

The Department’s website states:

‘…..an array of birdlife……Bring your binoculars for the chance to spay a pied oystercatcher, small waders on the beach, a white faced heroin or pied coromorants….

It further states:

“enjoy a picnic at Lake George”

Considering we had people wandering around with firearms, and there were duck body parts all around the shoreline, we both believed this was totally unsatisfactory.  I have contacted the Department and was advised that there were campers at 3 Mile Bend that weekend who also heard the shots and left the park feeling very concerned.  I don’t blame them.  I am awaiting an official response from the Department.

We then drove towards the exit of the park, stopping briefly to take a few bird photos.

We stopped for 10 minutes or so to have a look at Wooley Waterhole, at the park entrance.  Native birds, including Superb Fairy-wrens, Red-browned Finches, and Yellow-rumped Thornbills, depend on this waterhole for fresh water.  During our visit we observed dozens of Silvereyes, Fantails, and Eastern Yellow Robins.

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Also near the entrance to the park is a moument to commemorate the old Robe to Beachport track, once used by mail coaches and travellers passing through the area.

We headed back into Beachport, and once again went out for tea at Bompas, enjoying another very nice meal.

 

References.

National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1990, ‘Beachport Conservation Park Management Plan’

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beachport_Conservation_Park>, viewed 29th March 2019

2 thoughts on “Beachport Conservation Park 5CP-014 and VKFF-0791

    • Hi Chris,

      I am aware that duck shooting is permitted on parts of Lake George. Not sure that it was lawful where they were. What was concerning, there was nothing on the Departments website, nor was there any signs up. In today’s climate, I don’t blame the campers for becoming alarmed and leaving the area.

      Cheers,

      Paul VK5PAS.

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