Royal Park/Moonee Ponds Creek - Trip Report

Subject: Royal Park/Moonee Ponds Creek - Trip Report
From: <>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 16:12:17 +1100
Royal Park / Moonee Ponds Creek - Inner-Melbourne Bicycle Trip Report

Hi All,

Here's a trip report with a difference ? or rather it's really just a
bit of fun!

I've recently changed jobs and as a consequence I'm now riding my bike 
through a different part of Melbourne. Previously I rode from Northcote 
through Yarra Bend and then along the Yarra to Prahran. Not a bad ride 
with a good range of birds. I now ride from Northcote down through Royal 
(via the ?Capital City Trail?), along the Moonee Ponds Creek and up
Footscray Rd. At first I was worried that the logistics of this ride
might be too much (i.e. time, difficultly in traffic management), but in
fact quite the opposite is true: virtually the entire distance is on a
bike track, I get to ride through some of Melbourne's best wooded
parkland and along an interesting inner-city creek environ.

>From Northcote the first phase of the ride goes along an old railway
line that runs beside Park St (along the Capital City Trail). Along here
I usually see Rainbow and Musk Lorikeet, White-plumed Honeyeater,
Magpie-lark, and a Brown Goshawk.

The second phase goes through Royal Park and has produced the best bird
of the trip so far - a Swift Parrot near the intersection of Park St.
and Royal Pd. The Capital City Trail continues through the area behind
Zoo, past the golf course and the old psychiatric hospital. Along here
I've seen a Collared Sparrowhawk (at Poplar Oval), Black-shouldered
Kite, the odd Grey Butcherbird, masses of Rainbow and some Musk 
Spotted Pardalote, Tree Sparrow, flocks of Welcome Swallow, Red
Wattlebird, Red-rumped Parrot, and Eastern Rosella. Interestingly this
is the spot that I?d previously seem a Pale-headed Rosella and
apparently several birds are resident here. There's also some good
scrubland (Eastern Spinebill, Superb Fairy-wren, Silvereye) next to an
interesting railway sandstone cutting (just before the trail reaches
Manningham St.). This area has also been planted with native grasses.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the ride is along the Moonee Ponds
Creek, an area I?d previously not visited. Quite apart from the concrete
pillars of ?City Link?, which runs along the length of the creek, it
still contains a good range of waterbirds.

>From the footbridge that joins the bike track from Royal Park to the
creek you can see a new man-made lake (next to the large orange
?toothpicks?) that is usually teaming with waterbirds including Chestnut
Teal, Black Duck, Wood Duck, Little Black Cormorant and Silver Gull. The
creek opens up here ? it's no longer a concrete drain - and includes
some good areas of reeds, rushes and sedge. Waterbirds seen along the
creek include Sacred Kingfisher, a resident pair of Great Egret, Royal
Spoonbill, an early morning Nankeen Night Heron, Spur-winged Plover,
Little and Hoary-headed Grebe, Black Swan, Clamorous Reed-warbler,
Pelican, lots of Chestnut Teal, Black Duck, Little Pied and Little Black
Cormorant. Other birds include a Little Falcon, Grey Fantail, Mudlark
and lots of White-plumed Honeyeater. The best section of the creek is at
the crossroads of the Moonee Ponds Creek and Footscray Rd. There are
some excellent areas of reeds here, and could possibly be the largest
strand in inner-Melbourne. This has the potential to be a good spot for
crake, rail and even bittern ? (I'll keep you posted) - I can highly
recommend this spot as a good place to check out. (It may be an a little
difficult to access the area by car ? there?s parking at the Footscray
Rd BP service Station).

The final part of the ride takes me along the bike track next to
Footscray Rd ? an area that runs along beside the docklands. The most
interesting observation here has been a White-plumed Honeyeater with an
unusual call ? a very loud ?WHEEE, WHEEE?.



Please see below for my current list for the trip (January-March 2003): 
with highlights marked with a *

1. Black Swan
2. Pelican
3. Royal Spoonbill*
4. Nankeen Night Heron*
5. White-faced Heron
6. Great Egret*
7. Masked Lapwing
8. Sacred Ibis
9. Little Grebe*
10. Hoary-headed Grebe
11. Chestnut Teal
12. Grey Teal
13. Black Duck
14. Wood Duck
15. Silver Gull
16. Great Cormorant
17. Little Black Cormorant
18. Little Pied Cormorant
19. Coot
20. Swamphen
21. Ducky Moorhen
22. Brown Goshawk
23. Collared Sparrowhawk!*
24. Australasian Hobby
25. Welcome Swallow
26. Black-shouldered Kite
27. Spotted Pardalote
28. Sacred Kingfisher*
29. White-plumed Honeyeater
30. Little Wattlebird
31. Red Wattlebird
32. Eastern Spinebill
33. New Holland Honeyeater
34. Grey Fantail*
35. Musk Lorikeet
36. Rainbow Lorikeet
37. Swift Parrot!!*
38. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
39. Eastern Rosella
40. Galah
41. Superb Fairy-wren*
42. Willie Wagtail
43. Noisy Miner
44. Clamorous Reed-warbler*
45. Indian Myna
46. House Sparrow
47. Tree Sparrow
48. Starling
49. Domestic Dove
50. Spotted Turtledove
51. Little Raven

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