Bool Lagoon Game Reserve and Bourne’s Bird Museum

We left Port Fairy heading in land again to dodge some cold rainy weather to Naracoorte to see a fossil cave we heard about while in Winton QLD. We drove through the Coonawarra region full of dark grape vines and cellar doors and funny little towns with names like Digby, Merino and Hotspur.  M

coonawarra grape vines
Coonawarra grapes

On the way we got side tracked when we read about the Bool Lagoon Reserve. It is a wetlands area of international importance or so they say. As it is the end of summer there was not the 150 species of birds they say is there as there was not much water. It still had a heap of birds and was a beautiful place to spend a day and a night. It sounded like kakadu does, as it was full of magpie geese among many other water birds. The geese if anyone knows them, honk all day and night, so it sounded like there was a party going on in the lagoon all night. The night bugs were amazing to the point that we had a rare night of cooking inside. Didn’t even walk to the nice flushing loos in fear of coming back in with 20,000 tiny bugs. Steve delights in using the Dyson hand held vacuum to suck up bugs on the wing. Very effective Mr Dyson! M

bool lagoon sign

bool lagoon with keddie and yoga
Out setup right on Bool lagoon
bool lagoon from big hill
Steve scanning for birds on top of “Big Hill”
boardwalk to bird hide bool lagoon
Boardwalk to a bird hide. Normally this green area is a meter of water
steve in bird hide bools lagoon
Steve in the bird hide but birds were too far away
maddy at birdhide
Even with no water nearby I thought it was a beautiful place
bool lagoon view 2
The birds were so far away but the view was just lovely.
bool lagoon island
This is one big swamp area full of black mud where there is no water

bools lagoon view 4

reeds bool lagoon
Native reeds
bullrushes bool lagoon

bool lagoon island

bools lagoon view 3
Sunset magpie geese,ibis,spoonbills,swamp hens,herons,ducks,swans,gulls,pelicans etc
banksia bool lagoon
Beautiful banksia tree
bool lagoon flats
Magpie geese at sunset honking away
bool lagoon panorama
View from the top of Big Hill
magpie goose
Magpie Goose
australian white ibis
Australian White Ibis
maddy snake spotting
Me checking out the red bellied black snake. Lots of snakes in this park with all the grass/reeds
black tailed native hen
Black tailed native hen-new bird
straw necked ibis
Straw necked Ibis
yellow spoonbill and magpie goose
Yellow Spoonbill and Magpie goose
wallaby at bool lagoon
Swamp wallaby- not sure whether or not to run


When I was in Longreach QLD I bought an RMWilliams magazine and read an article about rural museums. One in particular that stood out talked about a farmer/wildlike lover named jack Bourne who’s hobby was birds and in particular stuffing any he found as road kill, electrocuted on power lines or people brought him that didn’t make it. He gave them a new lease of life. By the time he was in his 70’s he had hundreds of different specimens and people kept asking to see them, so he started a museum. As it happened, we were 20min away from this museum as this farmer lived near Bool Lagoon. So, we stopped in to see it. His daughter Marion was now running the museum, which was a purpose built room near the main farmhouse where she grew up that borders the Lagoon. The farm is a working sheep and cattle station. Marion invited us to a rural farm show the following weekend, so we will go to that. We were even invited to watch sheep crutching the next day. Love the country hospitality. It is so nice not having plans and being able to have a chat with someone and decide what you will do next on the spot. It’s the life of the gypsy and feels really good! M

Mr bourne bird museum
Farmer Jack Bourne the bird lover in his earlier years at Bool Lagoon

Jack Bourne said it started as a hobby that got out of control. He said people called him many things but mostly the “Bool Lagoon bird stuffer”.  The museum had more than just birds. There were other animals specimens, eggs etc. Thank you Jack!

bird museum
Bourne bird museum
scarlet chested parrot
Scarlet chested parrot for Warwick- just in case!
bourkes parrot
Bourke’s parrot for Warwick-just in case!
butterfly and catepillar
Caterpillar and butterfly on a lamp plant

blue billed duck

hahns macaw bourne bird museum
Non native parrot
red necked avocet bourne bird museum
Red necked Avocet. How weird looking is this bird? We have seen it in the wild but it was good to see it up close.
koalas bourne bird museum
sheep on the driveway
Sheep in the driveway at the farm
stunned finch
Red browed finch that flew into the window and is stunned but still alive-poor thing
major mitchell's cockatoo bourne bird museum
I hope to see one of these on this trip. Major Mitchell Cockatoo

The best thing about this museum is the birds can’t fly away. You could have a good look at them, unlike in nature.

2 thoughts on “Bool Lagoon Game Reserve and Bourne’s Bird Museum

  1. Thanks for the two parrots. They are even better looking stuffed than drawn in the books. The museum looked great though the Blued billed duck seem had such a blue bill that I thought it was painted. I’m sure not.
    Great stories.


  2. Hi Wazza, Yes Steve thinks it was painted, but quite a good job. The bills probably fade in death unlike the feathers.
    I hope we see those parrots for you alive though. Maddy


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