After travelling via Lorne, Erskine Falls Rd., Mt.Sabine/Benwerrin Rd. and down the Kaanglang Rd. to Lake Elizabeth, the sixteen walkers who had joined us for this activity were ready for morning tea before setting off for their walk around the lake.
Lake Elizabeth is a beautiful spot, with contemplative vistas through the trees, with birds, fungi and plants to discover.
The excellent pathways were lined with massive Tree-ferns both the Rough Tree-fern Cyathea australis and the Soft Tree-fern Antarctica dicksonia. It is easy to notice the difference as the Soft Tree-fern maintains its dead fronds while the Rough Tree-fern lets its fronds drop off. Of course if you touch the frond stems you will soon realise which is the rough one!
The White-browed Scrubwrens seemed quite used to people in the picnic area. The autumn light highlighted the colours of the White-throated Treecreeper. On the lake we saw cormorants, ducks, grebes, coots, Swamp-hens and a Darter, but no sightings of platypus. At lunchtime many were impressed to see a Sacred Kingfisher.
We wondered about the 40+ Currawongs congregating in the tree tops in the distance.
There were many species of fungi to photograph, and the most amazing plant we saw was a Mock Olive Notelaea ligustrina tree laden with white, fleshy berries.
At the end of the walk we were all delighted with the antics of a group of Crested Shrike-tits as they searched for food amongst the bark of the trees.
We finalised the walk in Forrest with coffee and cake at the Forrest Cafe and Guest House now owned by Peter and Emma Ashton. Peter was a former ranger with Parks Victoria at Anglesea, and it was great to catch up with him once again.
Ross Murray/Alison Watson
(Bird photography per courtesy of Marg Lacey)