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 June 5th 2017
A Second Creek Saunter
The end of the narrow laneway opens out onto a path that follows the creek. Several black ducks are sheltering amongst the reeds beneath a large willow and I can hear the persistent hum of insects in a late flowering gum. But the most enchanting feature of this walk is a little waterfall that crosses this section of the second creek.
I am in the eastern hills-face suburb of Burnside exploring the Michael Perry and Willowbridge Reserves. They can be accessed through Andrew's Walk at the southern end of Hallett Road and follow the course of Second Creek from the hills into suburban Adelaide. This creek complex is an important ecosystem for a wide variety of plants and animals and has undergone significant rejuvenation by environmental groups.
A little further along the path I can hear the unmistakable call of a laughing kookaburra. After a little searching and a lot of listening, I locate the bird sitting on the lowest branch of a massive eucalypt. It calls several times and eventually a second bird arrives and perches nearby. They stay in the area for about ten minutes then fly to another observation post to scour the river bank for unsuspecting prey.
And it is one of the kookaburra's favourite snacks that next catches my attention. An eastern water skink is basking on a log amongst a tangle of reeds and debris that has been washed downstream. I have never seen the secretive reptiles in the water. They usually lie on rocks or logs close to the water waiting for insects, spiders, worms and other invertebrates to feed on.
My walk along the creek has been relaxing and filled with sightings of enchanting animals and it is with some reluctance that I head back to the car and drive north along Hallett Road towards my home. However, I decide on one last stop to enjoy coffee and cake at 'Taylor Blend' alongside the Ferguson Reserve just a kilometre down the road. A rather pleasant way to wind up my morning with yet another hills face park close by.