Fourteen people gathered at the Ironbark Basin carpark and in perfect walking weather set out for our planned walk. We were pleased to see the footbaths to prevent the spread of Phytopthora cinnamomi (Dieback) were in operation so we made sure we all carried out the correct procedure.
Leaving the basin we walked along the small track parallel with the Great Ocean Rd towards Hurst Rd and Eumeralla.
Group on Track
We discovered some out-of-control Bluebell Creeper dominating the local plant species. Continuing through to Eumeralla the sun appeared and we were pleased to see a male Scarlet Robin. We were not so pleased to find many deer tracks. Hugh and Ollie were happy to feast on the nectar from the Honeypots that were in full flower, and also enjoyed the puddles, and we enjoyed their stamina and energy.
We eventually made sense of the new signs that have been erected in the area to direct bike riders to stay on course.
The Common Pink Heath and Myrtle Wattle were flowering well and there was moss, lichen and some fungi to experience. The birds seemed to be flocking and feeding together and when we noticed another mixed group we stopped for morning tea so we could observe the sittellas, numerous Eastern Spinebills, Pardelotes, treecreepers and honeyeaters.
Continuing on along Hurst Rd we found a little patch of Mosquito Orchids Acianthus pusillus and some Tall Greenhoods Pterostylis melagramma in bud, and also a patch of Dwarf Greenhoods Pterostylis nana just coming out along the track to the Surf Coast Walk.
At the lookout we stopped for lunch where we had beautiful views of the ocean but no whales appeared.
Having renewed our energy we walked down to the beach observing that the very high tide had cut into the dune. Fortunately we had low tide and plenty of sand to walk on.
Margaret & Kaye on beach
Sue and Jo
At the Pt Addis carpark some of us finished the walk with a visit to nearby Bowside Café. The remaining group continued through the Koori walk and the nature trail back to the cars. There were few birds in the Ironbark Basin, and most of the Ironbarks seemed to have finished flowering. Nodding and Tall Greenhoods were seen on the Koori trail.
The birdlist for the walk totalled 22. It was an enjoyable circuit walk.
Report by Alison Watson