The walk began at the Snaky Gully and Distillery Road junction.  As soon as we had parked the cars, an Olive-backed Oriole was noticed in the trees above. We walked cross country through bush to reach the settlement ponds on Distillery Creek Rd.  On the way we saw many interesting plants, some of which we struggled to identify.  Particularly noticeable were the Grass Trees Xanthorrhoea australis, the Flowering Heath Epacris impressa, Hibbertia fasciculata, Hibbertia riparia and Hibbertia sericea. We also spotted Parson's Bands Orchid Eriochilus cucullatus.

March walk Aireys Settlement Ponds

Different fungi were also noted and photographed.  At the settlement ponds we saw and heard a variety of bird life. A Wedge-tailed Eagle sat at the top of a dead tree, silhouetted against the sky and there were many water birds, including Grey Teal, Australasian Grebe, Shelduck, Black Duck, Great Cormorants and White Ibis.  Other birds spotted on the walk included Blue-winged Parrots, Pied Currawong, Grey Shrike-thrush, White-throated Tree Creepers, Golden and Rufous Whistlers, Brown-headed Honeyeaters, White-eared Honeyeaters, White-plumed Honeyeaters, a Buff-rumped Thornbill and, just possibly, a Flame Robin.

March walk Aireys Settlement Ponds

After walking around the settlement ponds, we followed small foot tracks through the bush to climb two ridges.  The Woolly Rice-flower Pimelea octophylla was seen occasionally flowering out of season, and also the Dwarf Boronia Boronia nana and many, many small flowering banksias Banksia marginata. Some other plants particularly commented upon were Golden Tip Goodia lotifolia, White Marianth Rhytidosporum procumbens and Daviesia brevifolia, the Leafless Bitter-pea.

Joe Bolza

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