I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet.
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Published May 3rd 2018
Pumped on wildlife
The Adelaide Hills has a wonderful and diverse range of wildlife as well as some of the most charming and historically significant towns in the state. Aldgate is a prime example. Settled in the 1860s it is situated just a short 20 km drive from the CBD along the SE freeway. With its village atmosphere, historic hotel, some wonderful old houses and a designated nature walk it is an ideal place for a day trip and some wildlife watching.
The area around Aldgate is dominated by tall eucalypts forest with patches of dense bush. Numerous gullies, creeks and some quite steep hillsides characterise the terrain. This provides a diverse range of habitats and a wide variety of species are found in the area. Where the walking trails take you through dense scrub there are finches, wrens and many other smaller species. The tall trees are home to currawongs, choughs and crows and both rosellas and cockatoos often perch or feed in the upper branches.
Magpies, quail, native pigeons like the common bronzewing and crested as well as other ground foraging birds live in the understory which is also home to numerous small skink species that inhabit the leaf litter feeding on ants and other insects.
Where the trail intersects waterways look out for coots, ducks and other aquatic living birds and listen for kookaburras which are quite common in this habitat. Permanent pools of water can also harbour the elusive Australian water rat or rakali and eastern water skinks along the banks.
This region also provides a home for several species of mammals including: possums, grey kangaroos, koalas, bats, echidnas and even the occasional southern brown bandicoot which have been re-introduced to the area.