Catalina- Batemans Bay

To: "COG List" <>
Subject: Catalina- Batemans Bay
From: "boy nature" <>
Date: Sun, 01 May 2011 16:48:10 +0000


Batemans Bay

-Catalina Lake

-Catalina- Hanging Rock Creek

I will tackle these in opposite order.

Catalina- Hanging Rock Creek

Opposite the Catalina Golf Club (at the lights)- 20 min 2 Ha search

A tidal creek runs parallel to Beach Rd. This is lined with mangroves, Banksias and Callistemons with many in flower, particularly the latter.

Bird highlights: Only 8 species but due to the profuse flowering the area was packed full with birds, with at least 40 New Holland honeyeaters, 20 little wattlebirds, 8 rainbow lorikeets, 7 spinebills. This spot is definitely worth a quick look in autumn.

Catalina Lake

At the Catalina lights on the Batemans Bay Beach Rd, turn right. (Priors Bus route 761 (local bus) takes you around the lake which is on Country club Dr/ Heron Rd.).

A dark lake can be seen from the road, with a large island in the middle. From the hill it looks stunning and good for birds, so I decided to investigate closer. (500m 1 hour search)

Bird highlights: 24 species. A brown cuckoo dove was eating berries of a species I didn’t recognise. It flew off about 10m but then just sat, allowing good observation. 4 satin bowerbirds, 1 common bronzewing, 2 whipbirds, a butcherbird, kookaburra, 14 swamphens and 12 welcome swallows. A possible spoonbill, white faced heron and little pied cormorant were on the island. One welcome swallow swooped an Australasian grebe 3 times (why?). 18 silvereyes were heading SW.

Although the species haul was good, numbers were dominated by only a few species.

There is mown grass all around the lake and the riparian vegetation extends from the edge of the lake for only 3- 8m or so, yet it is so dense that it is almost impossible to get to the water. Casuarinas are the main bordering trees, but there are also pine trees, spotted gums, Viminalis, Banksias. There are heaps of weeds, some tree size and the rest choke the mid to understory layers (eg blackberries). In amongst these are rainforest shrubs like Lily Pilly’s.

This lake could be improved for bird watching and recreation by 3 easy steps (although it would take a lot of work initially), 1) removing the weeds thus opening up a few viewing spots to the lake (perhaps add a jetty) and replanting with natives, 2) creating a simple path around the lake (ie with a ride on mower), 3) removing the rubbish from the lake particularly at the bottom. As the lake flows into the golf course I would imagine they would help pay for these things. Until this is done I wouldnt bother birding here.

Afterwards I went into the golf club, as on Tuesday they have wood fired pizzas for $13 and worth it.


Benj Whitworth

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