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Barraba is the birthplace of Australia’s “Bird Routes”. 237 types of birds can be seen in the wider region. The Bird Route concept was developed in the 1990s by the late Russ and Jenny Watts, starting with Barraba. Today Bird Routes can be found across Australia. There are now 22 signposted Bird Routes over the Tamworth Regional Council area. Many of these routes are part of Travelling Stock Routes (TSRs) which contain and protect some remnants of native habitat. These woodland bird habitats, particularly the grassy box Ironbark woodlands have been instrumental in maintaining biodiversity.

A dedication plaque to Russ Watts is located in the park on the corner of Fitzroy and Bridge Streets, Barraba. There is access from this park to a walking path that runs along the Manilla River.

Public access is allowed to TSRs in the daytime.

Mille Creek Travelling Stock Reserve
Follow Bingara Rd. An open reserve begins 3.5km north of Barraba. Regent Honeyeaters have been seen here. Walk or drive the dirt track into Silver-leaved Ironbark and White Box forest. Another 3km north you can enter the TSR through a gate. Look for Sacred Kingfishers’ nesting holes in the bank hidden below tree roots running parallel to the creek.

Upper Horton
This round trip is picturesque and rewards with bird sightings.To get to Upper Horton from Barraba you can drive north on the Fossickers Way. 18km north turn left onto Horton Rd. Travel 19km and you arrive in the village of Upper Horton. Travel a further 18km along Bereen Rd. Turn left onto Trevallyn Rd and travel another 45km back to Barraba. Trevallyn Rd climbs out of the valley and there is a lookout spot where travelers can pull over and enjoy the stunning views back over the valley.

Bells Mountain Reserve
7km north of Barraba on the Bingara Rd there is a significant conservation grassy box woodland area.

Plumthorpe Travelling Stock Reserve
Plumthorpe Travelling Stock Reserve is 16.5km west of town on the Trevallyn Road. Leave Barraba on Alice Street which becomes Trevallyn Rd. Enter gate and it’s an easy drive to the Manilla River picnic and barbecue area at the river bank. Bush camping. Parrots and honeyeaters are common.

Little Creek Travelling Stock Reserve
Little Creek Travelling Stock Reserve is 22.5km west of Barraba on the Trevallyn Rd. Leave Barraba on Alice Street which becomes Trevallyn Rd. Continue on Trevallyn Rd towards the Horton Valley (do not turn onto Mt Lindsay Rd towards Horton Falls). There is a picnic shed and camping area. Many birds can be seen among the Casuarinas along the bank of Little Creek.

Horton Falls Bird Route
Leave Barraba on Alice Street which becomes Trevallyn Rd. Travel around 20km. Turn left onto Mt Lindsay Rd and travel around 10km. Turn right onto Horton Falls Rd. The falls are another 8om along this road. There are regular sightings of flocks of turquoise parrots. There are many Honeyeaters including Lewin’s and Yellow-tufted. A variety of trees and shrubs blossom at different times attracting flocks of birds.

Cobbadah to Upper Horton Bird Route
This route begins 17km north of Barraba Sheep Station Creek, 1km south of the Cobbadah Village and Cobbadah Creek 1km to the north. A large open reserve has clumps of native trees. Most of the 18km road to Upper Horton Village from Cobbadah adjoins a wide Travelling Stock Route. Thick patches of white box, ironbark and a stretch of mature ti-tree are intersected by creeks. Grey-crowned Babblers may be sighted. At Sheep Station Creek look for Barking Owl.

Black Springs Travelling Stock Reserve
This remnant of the once vast Grassy Whilte Box woodland is 6.5km south of Barraba. To enter follow the roadside sign to a gate (leave gate as you found it). Blossom time brings many species of honeyeaters.

Tarpoly Travelling Stock Reserve
This White Box remnant woodland is 20km south of Barraba, around 25km north of Manilla. Cross Trapoly bridge and turn west immediately onto Borah Creek Rd. The reserve begins 100m over a grid. White-billed Choughs have been seen cohabiting with immature Channel-billed Cuckoo when feeding their young. Plum-headed Finches have been seen at the creek.

Borah Reserve
Cross the grid at the end of Tarpoly Reserve. Proceed 6.5km (cross grids). Entre Borah Reserve 0.9km along. At the southern end take the track to the left down to the creek. Mature riverine trees, honeyeaters and Common Bronzewings. Nesting sites of Turquoise Parrots and Little Lorikeets, Rufous Night Heron, Fuscous Honeyeaters and Regent Honeyeaters. Permanent water.

Nangahrah Bird Route
A Regent Honeyeater area. Birds found in Mugga Ironbark and Casuarinas. The route begins 21km east of Barraba on the Bundarra Rd at Nangahrah Creek crossing. Several picnic huts are along the next 14kms. Continue across Ironbark Creek, watching for the Regent Honeyeater sign on the left-hand side 1km before Coonorr Td turnoff, 35km east of Barraba.

Garibaldi Bird Route
40km from Barraba via McIntyre Rd. Garibaldi TSR is 7.6km long. From the T-junction of Gulf Creek and McIntyre Roads an Ironbark scrub extends for 4.6km. West of the junction the 3km of White Box scrub is intersected by a permanent creek. Blossom attracts many birds including Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters. Regent Honeyeaters are sighted in the area.

Ironbark Creek
8km south of Barraba on the Manilla Rd turn left into Crow Mountain Rd, travel 7km to Glenriddle bridge. This is an annual breeding site for hundreds of fairy martins, mud bottle-nest builders. Continue 2km to the signpost. Recommend 4WD to the creek. Site of alluvial gold mining in the 1850s.

Birdlists/Bird Routes (