We were pleased to welcome 14 people to our mammal survey and walk in the Ironbark Gorge at Distillery Creek on Saturday 16 November. It was great to have three children join in the activity with us – Oliver, Ruby and Sophie Woods.
Our first task was to place three cameras and baiting stations in locations close to the creek just north of the lower picnic ground. The children were keen to be involved.
After a brief morning tea at the picnic ground we followed the walking track through Ironbark Gorge. The weather was overcast and produced a few light showers, however they did eventually clear and the conditions were ideal. The gorge is always spectacular, and we had fun identifying where we had taken the photo for inclusion in our walking book guide in 2004.
Once we reached the top of the gorge we stopped on the bridge to admire the panoramic view back down the creek.
November is the perfect time for walking in the forest with the many different bird calls, and so many varieties of flowering plants. Among the most prolific were the clusters of white blooms of Dusty Daisy bush Olearia phlogopappa and yellow Hop Goodenia Goodenia ovata, growing throughout the forest.
Trigger Plants Stylidium armeria were flowering in abundance.
Many birds could be heard including Fantail Cuckoo, golden Bronze Cuckoo, Golden Whistler and the very vocal Grey Shrike thrush. Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos and Gang Gangs could be seen perched high up in the very tall Manna Gums growing within the Ironbark Gorge.
On the return track a Spotted Pardalote flew right across the walking path at knee height just in front of one of our group. It had flown from a small hollow burrowed into the side of the track only a few centimetres from the ground. The entrance was decorated with a Trailing Goodenia.
We returned about 1.00 pm, in time for lunch at the picnic ground where Pied Currawongs were hopefully waiting to be fed. We wonder just how many images of these birds we will capture on our cameras.
It was a very enjoyable day and we are hoping for some interesting photos when we retrieve the cameras in about two more weeks.