More around Narrabri

No big drives yesterday which allowed us to wash clothes and shop and still have time for an excursion in the afternoon to the Paul Wild Observatory (PWO) and then Yarrie Lake a bit further down the road. The Australia Telescope Compact Array at PWO is an array of 6 dishes each 22 metres in diameter. They work together using a technique called “interferometry” which allows the antennas to mimic a much larger antenna. The array is operated by CSIROs Astronomy and Space Science division for purely scientific purposes using radio waves to build up pictures. This link provides more detailed information.

The antennas are all mounted on rail line to allow a variety of configurations.

After we had been at the facility for some time and had moved inside to look at the display there was an “Attention please” recorded announcement that a signal from a device had been detected and to please ensure our mobile phones were switched to airplane mode or turned off. I saw a few people looking about but no hands went up to say ‘sorry it was me!’ so don’t know if it was part of the ‘display’ or a real problem.

We drove on a little further to Yarrie Lake – not a drop of water to be seen which is not surprising as it is a very shallow lake. Some galahs were taking advantage of a number of lovely hollows in the old trees and a few Eastern Grey Kangaroos were grazing out in the middle of the lake bed.

A sky view looking across dry Yarrie Lake.
A forest of Callitris on the edge of the lake.

Then it was back to camp with a few stops along the road at farm dams with some water and bird life. Unfortunately the Blue Bonnets (parrots) that Allen spotted before pulling over to investigate, made themselves scarce.

View to Euglah Rock

We left camp early this morning for a day in Mt Kaputar National Park, taking some extra warm clothes with us. We had a wonderful time finding and watching birds and enjoyed several good walks with breathtaking views.

There were lots of very vocal White-throated Treecreepers – this female was one of many foraging for insects.

Wonderful views from Mt Kaputar summit
Snow Gums on the summit
Spotted Pardalote
White-browed Scrub-wren

I have the luxury of being able to just observe and enjoy the birds through binoculars while Allen has the challenge of trying to get a decent photo of little birds that keep moving. Landscapes are much easier! We had a lot of fun today and realized part the way through the morning that it was so much more relaxing when we didn’t have to cope with hoards of flies.

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