Homebush Bay: Haslams Creek

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Homebush Bay: Haslams Creek
From: "Peter A. Ekert" <>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 14:38:50 +1000
Dear Michael, Irene and fellow Birding Aussers

As Michael Hunter suggests, the area is a prominent site for a high
diversity and abundance of bird species within the Sydney region.

The  'wildlife corridor immediately north-west of the Olympics site' that
Michael refers to is part of the Millennium Parkland remediation and
landscaping development.  Immediately to the west of the stadium (Stadium
Australia) is Kronos Hill, which was created from 30 years of dumped waste,
forming a hill approx. 15 metres high.  A further 550,000 cubic metres of
waste, and a capping of clay were added during the Olympic development, then
the 25 metre high hill was capped, and landscaped.  Over 37,800 trees
(Eucalyptus and Casuarinas)  more than 2 million wallaby grass seedlings
(Danthonia spp.).  were planted on the site.  As Irene correctly pointed
out, the site provides suitable habitat for a number of species including
Richard's Pipit, Double-barred Finches and recently Golden-headed
Cisticolas.  Other species recently recorded include Red-rumped Parrots,
Horsefield's Bronze Cuckoo, and large numbers of White-faced Herons.

Adjacent to Kronos Hill, on the western side, is Haslams Creek..  Where
Haslams Creek tracks east and heads under Hill Road, there is a recently
created corridor of wetlands, called the Wetlands Corridor.  This site
consists of a series of deep water ponds that act as irrigation reservoirs,
and ponds to capture and reduce the flow of water during periods of heavy
rain or flooding.   This site has been re-planted with riparian grasses,
shrubs, as well as Melaleucas, Casuarina and Eucalypts, which may over time
provide an 'expansion' and link to the Silverwater Nature Reserve (formerly
known as the Newington Estate thereby facilitating the movement of a more
species rich avifauna, particularly the smaller insectivores such as
thornbills and scrubwrens.   The site provides suitable habitat for a high
diversity of birds. Many species are now using the dense grasses at the
site, including Zebra finches, brown quail, clamorous reedwarblers, golden
headed cisticolas, little grassbirds.  A black-tailed Native Hen was
recorded last year, which is an interesting record.

This site was formerly occupied by the Dept of Defence (now managed by the
Olympic Co-ordination Authority - and soon to be managed by NSW National
Parks and Wildlife Service), and contains a 20 hectare Eucalypt forest, a 40
hectare area of saltmarsh and wetlands and a 10 hectare closed casuarina
forest.  The eucalypt woodland is dominated by scribby gum (E. haemastoma)
and broad leaved ironbark (E. fibrosa) and the hollows provide suitable
nesting sites for 6 parrot species, which nest at high densities.  The
saltmarsh and wetlands are significant areas of habitat for a number of
wader species listed under National (TSC Act) and International Agreements
(JAMBA / CAMBA).  Please note: There is no public access to this site.
People interested in conducting monitoring at the site as part of the
'Homebush Bay Bird Monitoring Project' should contact me.

Birds Australia with the help of an extensive team of 30-50 volunteers
(without their help the work would not have been possible!!) has been
monitoring the bird communities of Homebush Bay, since 1995.  The aims of
the project have been to investigate the effects landscaping and remediation
associated with the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Development on the birds of
Homebush Bay.

As well as the sites at Homebush Bay, we have also been monitoring a number
of 'reference' sites including the wetlands at Bicentennial Park, Mason Park
Lagoon and intertidal mudflats on the Parramatta River such as Prince Edward
Park.  These areas act as important foraging and roosting sites for a number
of waterbirds, including migratory shorebirds.  As a lot of the wetlands
around Homebush Bay has been reclaimed, these sites in the future will act
as important sites for species such as Ruddy Turnstones, Bar-tailed Godwits,
Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Curlew Sandpipers, Eastern Curlew, Latham's Snipe,
Black-fronted dotterels, Black-winged Stilts, Red-capped Plovers.

We are now heading toward the end of the Project, and currently analysing
the results of 5 years of survey.  Quarterly and annual reports on the
Homebush Bay Bird Monitoring Project are held at the Birds Australia office
in Sydney and bird lists for the area are also available.


Peter A. Ekert

Manager - Homebush Bay Bird Monitoring Project (Sydney 2000 Olympics)
Co-ordinator - Monitoring Rufous Scrub-birds in Central Rainforest Reserves
in NSW
                    - Glossy Black Cockatoo Baseline Study

Birds Australia
PO BOX 1322

02 94361349
0410 566 104

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