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 February 1st 2020
I stop and take a second look and yes I am right, there, snugly wedged between the branches of a large River Gum is a koala. They are not unknown along this stretch of the trail but neither are they common. As I watch the koala, it leaves its secure perch and climbs higher into the branches.
This section of the Dry Creek Trail runs between Grand Junction Road, Valley View and McIntyre Road, Modbury. Due to its diversity, it is certainly one of my favourite walking and biking destinations. There is a well defined concrete pathway that follows the creek closely with several foot and road bridges providing access to the other side of the creek. Playing fields, playgrounds, barbecues, public toilets and even exercise equipment make it ideal for families. The Junction Shopping Area, close to the Grand Junction Road trail entrance, has a bakery and other eateries.
A little further along the trail, I notice a group of magpies perched in the trees watching people using the track. I am reminded of cyclists that I watched earlier in the year during the magpie nesting season. Some were swooped by the territorial birds, while they took no notice of people walking along the pathway.
Parrots are common along this section of the Dry Creek pathway. Both rosellas and galahs commonly feed on the grassed areas while rainbow and musk lorikeets are attracted by any eucalypts that are flowering.
After rain and in the cooler months, the creek flows quite well which in turn brings out ducks and other water birds. At the moment, there are only sporadic pools of water. Over the years that I have walked and ridden this part of the Dry Creek Trail, I have often seen magpie-larks or Murray magpies building their cup-shaped nests of hardened mud and plant matter, near the water . Today, I notice a nest attached to a branch over a shallow pool with an adult tending either eggs or young. It appears to be breeding out of season.
My walk from Grand Junction to McIntyre road and back is around 2-3 kilometres and takes a couple of hours with all my wildlife and creek exploration stops. It has been more than worthwhile and I have encountered a wide variety of wildlife in this basically urban setting. With all the playgrounds, parks and other facilities, including a nearby par 3 golf course and driving range, it is an ideal way for any individual or family to spend a enjoyable day out.
Additional notes This is an easy walk or ride which is quite suitable for families and seniors with public toilets, barbecues, parking and other facilities nearby. It is dog-friendly.