Excursion Report -Sheepstation Creek, Border Ranges, NSW, held 26-28 January 2024, Leader Barney Hines

The QNC Nats always seem to enjoy themselves. This was my reflection post the Australia Day camp. It was an eventful start. The leader turned up late, having recently moved house and forgetting in the process, just where the Border Ranges National Park actually was. Upon arrival in the early afternoon, he was duly informed that the road up the mountain was closed, as were all the walking tracks bar one, due to the storms over the Christmas period. 

Others might have been daunted (the leader certainly was), but the resourcefulness of members soon kicked in. Susanne Nelles gladly met up with the ranger, who kindly informed us that we could walk beyond the track closed sign for the Rosewood Loop if we took some care and were happy to navigate around some fallen trees. So Sunday’s walk was planned – which was just as well as the bush-walking option that the leader and a brave assistant (one only volunteers once) were exploring as a possible back up option was not really feasible.

The weather for Saturday and particularly Sunday was hot and steamy and great for those things that like it that way – fungi, plants, insects, birds, frogs and snakes. The creek was a great gift after the day’s walk and enjoyed by most. Insects and herps at night were of interest, with a large bandy-bandy of note. Sunday night saw us spotlighting beyond the
locked gate on the road to the tops. We were rewarded with Short-eared Possums (Trichosurus caninus), Koala, a Small-eyed Snake and an Owlet Nightjar calling, before thick cloud and light rain brought a close to our activities.

The return journey was partially through farmland, providing an opportunity for a couple of brave Nats who could not afford the fare to Pamplona to instead run with the local bull! Upon returning to camp the rain set in more steadily and the camp became quiet.

The next morning the rain was intermittent again and so a decision was made to finish early after a thoroughly enjoyable camp. Please check the iNaturalist page for lots of wonderful photos of plants, fungi and creatures encountered (343 observations; 205 species). https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/projects/qnc-2024-jan-border-ranges-national-park

Photo credits below – Barney Hines, Delma Clifford, Cathie Duffy unless otherwise acknowledged.

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