A View from the Dam
In my previous review on the Hope Valley Reservoir
, I looked at the three main entrances and what they offered in terms of walks, recreational facilities and wildlife viewing. Today, I am going back to the Lyons Road entrance and walking through the little bushland park alongside the reservoir then returning to the car park via the top of the dam.
Grey Fantail... shot at distance
The park is dominated by numerous native plant species including mature eucalypts, acacias and a sprinkling of native pine as well as a variety of grasses and ground covers. This provides an excellent environment for wildlife. As I walk along the pathway which bisects the park, I am accompanied by the incessant twittering of small birds high in the canopy. I track them with the telephoto and spot; Silvereyes, Grey Fantails
and even smaller birds which might be Weebills and pardalotes.
Caring for the trail
Raven species...see link in text
I stop to watch an older gentleman weeding and ask him about the birdlife. He points out some Currawongs nearby and I try to get close enough for a decent shot but they stay half hidden in a tangle of undergrowth. However, one of their close relatives, a raven
(often mistakenly called a crow) is perched high on a tree near the pathway.
Western Grey Kangaroos
The scrub continues as the path rises towards the end of the dam wall but it is fenced off though I am still able to scan for wildlife over the fencing. I notice quite a few Red Wattlebirds and New Holland Honeyeaters feeding on late blossoming eucalypts. To my surprise, there is a small group of Western Grey Kangaroos feeding and grooming near the fence. I approach them slowly and they seem to be unconcerned. Perhaps they have learned that the fencing between us provides a measure of security.
Acroos the water
View from the path up to the dam
Leaving the roos to their scratching and feeding I continue up a rather steep slope to the eastern end of the dam and start walking back across the top to the car park. The view across the reservoir is wonderful and there are numerous aquatic species on the water and around the reed beds including ducks, moorhens, coots and grebes. A White-faced Heron is stalking prey along the rocky edge of the dam and it is easy to slide the camera between the protective wire fencing and get a clear shot.
Large Koala in the tree fork near the road
It has been quite a successful walk and I'm pleased with some of the images. Before I walk to the car I chat to a ranger, who is shifting some pine bark onto a garden bed, about the frequency of Koalas in this area. She informs me that they are almost always found on the other side of the reservoir. I thank her, climb into the vehicle and head back towards the Main North East Road only to hit the brakes a mere fifty metres from the exit as I spot a large Koala in the fork of a gum tree. Unbelievable but true, and a fitting way to end my second trip to Tea Tree Gully's Hope Valley Reservoir.