Tawny Frog Mouth Owl

Tawny mouth frog

These pictures were taken in the backyard of a local resident of Barmera, near Lake Bonney.

Photo Credit:  Scott Johncock

Thank you Scott for these great photos.

Bibliography:  Berri Barmera Landcare Facebook:

With their nocturnal habits and owl-like appearance, Tawny Frogmouths are often confused with owls, but they are in their own family. Unlike owls, Frogmouths don’t use hollows but roost out in the open, lack the curved talons, have a very different, very broad bill and their eyes are to the sides of their head, not to the front like the owls do.

You can find these birds of about 45cm in most habitats including urban areas. They feed mainly on nocturnal insects, worms, slugs and snails, so play an important role in pest control. Small mammals, reptiles, frogs and birds are also eaten. You may hear them during the night when they produce a deep repeated oom-oom-oom call.

A very basic, too small looking stick nest is used to raise 2-3 chicks during spring, with both parents incubating and caring. Tawny frogmouths form partnerships for life and once established, pairs will usually stay in the same territory for a decade or more. Establishing and maintaining physical contact is an integral part of the lifelong bond.

For their protection they heavily rely on camouflage. With their streaky grey plumage, sitting against a broken off stump, pointing their bill upwards to break up their silhouette they become practically invisible in broad daylight.

Being so exposed to the elements means Tawny Frogmouths had to develop special adaptations to cope with the temperature changes. During winter they regularly go into a state of torpor for a few hours, significantly slowing down heart-rate and metabolism which lowers body temperature and results in energy conservation. They will also choose more exposed and northerly positions to roost to make the most of the sun’s rays, and may huddle together.
In summer they tend to choose positions on branches that do not have all day exposure to sunlight. They can also triple their breathing rate without the need to open their beaks. If this is not enough they can pant, engorge the blood vessels in the mouth and produce a mucus that helps to cool air as it is inhaled and hence cool the body! Amazing!

Bibliography: Thank you to The Berri Barmera Landcare:  Facebook

The bulk of the Tawny Frogmouth’s diet is made up of nocturnal insects, worms, slugs and snails. Small mammals, reptiles, frogs and birds are also eaten. Most food is obtained by pouncing to the ground from a tree or other elevated perch.

When disturbed during rest, they can emit a soft warning buzz that sounds similar to a bee, and when threatened, they can make a loud hissing noise and produce clacking sounds with their beaks. At night, tawny frogmouths emit a deep and continuous “oom-oom-oom” grunting at a frequency of about eight calls in 5 seconds.


A Fisherman & A Pelican

10th June 2019  June Long Weekend

A early Monday morning at Lake Bonney, Barmera  sits a fisherman & a pelican just waiting, watching & hoping.   

“That catch for the morning” or a “breakfast for another”. 

Sometimes its about watching, waiting & hoping.   “waiting with anticipation”  


Photo: Crossfield Cottage B&B




The Pelican

Interesting facts about The Pelican

Pelicans are large waterbirds that make up the family: Pelecanidae. They are characterised by a long beak and a large throat pouch used for catching prey and draining water from the scooped-up contents before swallowing.

Did you know “Many pelicans fish by swimming in cooperative groups.

They may form a line or a “U” shape and drive fish into shallow water by beating their wings on the surface.

When fish congregate in the shallows, the pelicans simply scoop them up”. We are fortunate to host many of these stunning birds along the mighty Murray.

Facts and Figures

Minimum Size: 160cm, Maximum Size: 180cm
Average size: 170cm
Breeding season: At any time of the year
Clutch Size: 1 to 3 eggs
Incubation: 35 days
Nestling Period: 28 days


The Riverlands Winter Wonderland

A Winter Getaway

Winter in the Riverland turns in to a winter wonderland

7th June 2019

Winter is a beautiful time in the Riverland.  With fresh cold evenings, misty and even frosty mornings and your days become what we call “sunny country winter days”.

With over 300kms of the River Murray, serving as the lifeblood of the landscape and the community, it is a dream for anyone who loves the outdoors. Fishing, water sports, boating, gliding, national parks and walking trails, not to mention the magnificent panoramic backdrop of the River Murray limestone cliffs with layers of colour and texture; it is simply breathtaking.

The Riverland is served by five main towns, Barmera, Berri, Loxton, Renmark and Waikerie, each with their unique tales to tell. All offer a warm and hospitable experience and visitors will find a vast array of activities in and around these towns.

Which makes Barmera’s hidden gem, “Crossfield Cottage B&B” a great base to then go out and explore this beautiful region.

Lake Bonney is a photographed place, which can features the night sky in all its glory and the stars above that are scattered accross the night sky.   Show casing the amazing sunsets and sunrises that outshines all.

Exploring nature by moving through the National parks, the wetlands and floodplains of the region.  walking the boardwalk at Banrock station lets you appreciate the sourroundings. These areas are full of native birds & wildlife to enjoy.

Taking time to experience the beauty of the River Murray Kayak or canoe.  A chance to see the wild life on the water and along the riverbank or up in the trees.

In the Riverland we have “Canoe Adventures” or “Canoe the Riverland” buisnesses that can take you on their informative and relaxed guided tours.  Or you can hire your canoe and expxlore at your own pace.

Riverland is also home to fantastic wineries and distilleries to explore and to enjoy.  Award winning labels are produced in our region.  Apple and Lemon Ciders are another popular refreshment within the region.

Create your own memories while relaxing, sharing time with each other, creating your new happy place without the daily grind of work life, the intusions or modern day life, the schedules and time frames.

After a day of exploring, why not just cosy up to a wood fire, pouring yourself a glass of wines from one of our finest Riverland wines and enjoy a cheese & Antipasto platter.

Or Step back in time and soak in the elegance and charm of the clawfoot slipper bath filled with bubbles & drift away for a while.  Nothing like a bath to help you soothe and relax.  People have long known the therapeutic benefits of water, helping relieve stress and anxiety, and that’s exactly what a bath can do.  An opulence you’re sure to love and enjoy.

Why not escape for a weekend away, midweek getaway, holidays that are well deserved or that Romantic hideaway for a couples retreat to reconnect, relax and recharge.

“See what the Riverland does best”