Best Spots - inner Melbourne.

To: <>
Subject: Best Spots - inner Melbourne.
From: "Tim Dolby" <>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 15:10:18 +1000
Hi All,

Returning to the theme of best spots (and a little bit of self indulgence) I 
would like to nominate one for the inner Melbourne area: the 'Macfarlene Burnet 
Bushland Circuit' at Yarra Bend. It's next to the Studley Park boathouse and 
obviously named after Frank Macfarlene Burnet who used to bird watch in this 
area. It's an area I try to get too at least once a month (I live in nearby 
Northcote), and I enjoy it for the both the birds and the 'feeling' of being in 
the bush.

The flora along the walk is dominated by Yellow Box, Yellow Gum and River Reds, 
and is one of Melbourne's best areas of open woodland and native grassland. 
Grasses include Kangaroo Grass, Wallaby Grass and Spear Grass. The animals of 
the area include things like Water Rat, Brush and Ring-tailed Possum and the 
ubiquitous Grey headed Flying Fox. I've seen a Tiger Snake here and Brown Snake 
elsewhere in the area  - amphibians include the Striped Marsh Frog.

Bird-wise it's just as good - the best birds I've seen have included Painted 
Button-quail (found in the rise near the bend in the walk), Collared 
Sparrowhawk (I saw one last Monday for example) as well as Brown Goshawk (which 
is common), Hobby and the odd Peregrine (and Spine-tailed Swift) overhead. 
Musk, Little and Rainbow Lorikeet, Red-rumped Parrot, Boobook Owl and Dusky 
Woodswallow all nest along the track (ie DW nest in the largest gum next to the 
first seat). It's good for smaller birds, such as Striated and Brown Thornbill, 
plus the odd Yellow TB. Crested Shriketit, Yellow Robin, Black faced 
Cuckoo-shrike, Olive Backed Oriole, Grey Fantail Rufous and Golden Whistler, 
the common cuckoo can be seen in spring. Riparian birds include Darter, Great 
Egret, Wood Duck, Nankeen Night Heron, Azure and Sacred Kingfisher. The walk 
was also within hearing distance of the well-publicized Yarra Bend Koel.

The walk is quite short - about 1 km - and loops around following the Yarra 
River, however if you feel up to it you can continue along a narrow path along 
the river (watch out for mountain bikes!). There are some good basalt cliffs 
here, and a bird 'hot-spot' exist at the beginning of this path. The best way 
to get here is from Hiedelberg Rd : from the city turn left onto Yarra Bend Rd, 
continue until you get to Kane's Bridge - cross the bridge and it's on your 
right. I can't think of a better area so close to the city, 5 km or so. Any 
other suggestions?

For a good handout on Yarra Bend walks see: .



Tim Dolby
Dept of Bus and E-com
Swinburne Uni of Tech
Ph (03) 9214 6722

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